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World of Color - a spectacular water show opening this year at Disney’s California Adventure

January 25th, 2010


superstructure for “World of Color”

The rains that have been drenching Southern California will eventually clear and perfect weather for visiting the region’s many tourist attractions will return. The biggest attraction coming to Anaheim this year is a spectacular nighttime water show at Disney’s California Adventure, the second gate at the Disneyland Resort. “World of Color” will bring Disney animation to life with powerful fountains, lights, and special effects that will change the way you think about water shows.

Extensive testing of the fountains and special effects is now being conducted at Paradise Bay where “World of Color” is nearly complete. After draining the bay, teams of Disney workers built nearly an acre of superstructure to support the complex production. Walt Disney Imagineering installed the massive infrastructure and advanced technology that creates the stage for this extraordinary combination of music, animation and stunning water effects.

Here’s a great video showing construction and some of the testing:

Unofficially, the premier of “World of Color” is set for this May at Disney’s California Adventure. Plan your travel and find great deals at Disneyland Resort area hotels via LastMinuteTravel.com.

Many more details about World of Color below the jump:

Read more…

JFrost Destinations , , , , ,

75th Anniversary of the Birth of Elvis draws fans to Memphis

January 5th, 2010

This week marks the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s birth. Known as the “King of Rock N Roll” or simply “The King”, Elvis put Rock and Roll on the map, but also was quite the movie star as this LA Times article remembers. I mention that because children entering high school this year were born 20 years after Elvis’ tragic death. So familiarity might be weak.

Elvis’ legion of fans still make the trip to Memphis, Tennessee every year to visit the Graceland Estate. But there’s a lot more to Memphis than just Rock’n’Roll. Blues for one. Beale Street is the home to many music halls and produced more famous songs than you can shake a stick at. While you’re there check out the Walk of Fame, sort of the honor roll of Memphis musicians.

Then there’s the food. Many travel to Memphis for the barbeque alone. You’ll find everything from tip to tail smothered in the delicious sweet and tangy BBQ sauce that’s unique to Memphis. If you’re brave enough there’s even the world famous bar-b-q spaghetti at the Interstate Bar-B-Q on Third Street.

Also Memphis is square in the middle of the south’s rich history. From its days as a cotton and lumber busiiness center to its monuments of the civil rights movement, including the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, to its rich arts offerings, Memphis is a great place to soak up some of what it means to be an American.

When you’re in Memphis, enjoy the southern hospitality offered by a four star resort for less than $100 a night. This Best Value! partner of LastMinuteTravel.com is centrally located downtown with most Memphis entertainment within walking distance.

Photo Credits:

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Ski Resorts and Discount Passes Now Available

December 21st, 2009

We knew when we added the attractions and activities tab to LastMinuteTravel.com, that we’d have the opportunity to offer some amazing deals to the winter traveler. All those deals are now assembled on one page to be your base camp for ski savings.

One of our best values is the “Colorado Ticket.” An all access ski pass to 5 Vail Ski Resorts.

Not convinced you want to strap on those skis or snowboards? I’ve embedded a video below taken just a few days ago in Vail, CO so you can see what you’re missing.

JFrost Destinations, Ski , , , , ,

Most Popular New Year’s Eve Destinations

December 18th, 2009

2010 is shaping up to be a New Year’s Eve like no other! It’s not too late to book a trip and get in on the fun. To help you decide, LastMinuteTravel.com presents North America’s most-popular destinations for ringing in the New Year!

Using our proprietary technology, we’ve collected destination data from our website to find out where North Americans are going to celebrate this New Year’s Eve. The top 5 are:

Orlando
Nobody parties like Mickey and Minnie – and recently Shamu and Spiderman have been getting in on the act too! The Orlando parks go all out for the important night with special fireworks spectaculars and great food and dancing. If crowding into the theme parks will thousands of your closest friends isn’t your thing, there are plenty of fabulous New Year’s parties all across central Florida. Right now flights to Orlando are very affordable, so why not experience some of Disney’s magic for yourself.

Las Vegas
One of the most exciting and colorful places to celebrate New Year’s, Las Vegas attracts the wildest people to their growing number of clubs. There are so many options for the New Year in Vegas; toast the “nouvelle année” from the top of the replica Eiffel Tower, party with thousands of others on the Strip as midnight approaches, or watch the festivities from a private suite in your favorite resort. Any are great locations to watch the massive fireworks show that will launch from the rooftops of seven hotels along the Strip.

New York City
The traditional place to ring in the New Year is Times Square. The Big Apple is the center of attention if you want to experience the festive throng and the famed “ball drop”. If being outside in NYC’s winter weather isn’t your thing, there are thousands of great parties to join after you take in a Broadway show or catch the Radio City Rockettes.

Chicago
New Year’s revelers flock to Chicago for the great food and the fun parties. Whether its luxury you want or a party in a penthouse club, you’ll find it in the windy city. Just bundle up as it can get a bit chilly out there. Other popular parties include a river cruise or a concert at Grant’s park. Both provide you with a front-row view of the fireworks.

Los Angeles
Westcoasters in the know flock to the city of fun and sun for one last fling before the New Year begins. Popular places to party include Disneyland in Anaheim, the Together As One festival to dance into the next decade, and any of the hundreds of trendy clubs in Santa Monica or Beverly Hills where you can see or be seen. My favorite LA parties let you ring in the New Year twice, once at 9pm when NYC drops the ball and again at Midnight west coast time.

Other hot party cities include Miami, San Diego, New Orleans, Myrtle Beach, and San Francisco.

JFrost Destinations, Events , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Exotic” Travel in Helsinki

September 12th, 2008

If you are a savvy traveler and you know that there is more to Europe than London, Paris and Rome why not including one of the more exotic European capitals in your next trip in Europe? Helsinki – the capital of Finland - will definitely have a top ranking on this list.

There is a lot to explore although the city is only a fraction of the size of Paris or Berlin. Luckily most of Helsinki’s people speak English very well otherwise you would have problems. Unlike a trip to France or Germany you will not be able to pick up a few catchy phrases from a guide book during your flight time. Street names and words with seven “i”s will make you look into your guidebook or on the map the same number of times before you memorize the words. This makes a taxi ride as exotic as in Japan so you better point on the map or on the street name in a book. Otherwise it may happen you land in a totally different neighbourhood. Speaking of taxis: the basic starting fare when you board a taxi at Helsinki’s Vantaa airport is EUR 6.80 (and you are not gone any mile for this)…

The number of typical sightseeing targets (think: mum is standing with hanging arms in front of Eiffel Tower) in Helsinki is not high. That does not mean you cannot spend 4 or 5 days for a visit. It’s more about the full picture of Helsinki and Finland: what are the people like, what are their habits, what is the fashion, what are they interested in, where do they go for their weekend, what is the food like…

Hotel Kämp

Hotel Kamp

So while you visit you may include classic spots like the Senate Square with its neo-classical Cathedral; Esplanade Park with elegant shops and the posh Hotel Kämp; the “Rock” church with modern architecture, quarried out of the natural bedrock with excellent acoustics for concerts; the orthodox church with its golden cupolas showing the Russian impact of former times.

Helsinki

During a summer trip you can enjoy long days and a 20 minute ferry ride to Suomenlinna, an island with a maritime fortress and beautiful views of other sides of the city at the sea.

Suomenlinna

If you travel in winter time you should not miss a visit to your hotel’s sauna (you do not need to stay in a spa hotel to have that) or much better: to Yrjönkatu, an amazingly restored swimming hall from the 1920s.

A cheap and fun way to see different neighbourhoods is to jump on a tram. One of the most interesting neighbourhoods you will see then is the Design District with many shops, galleries, design hotel Klaus K and the Design Forum Finland showing most of the country’s big names in design and art. You will find all the classic top-class brands and trend-setting young designers for objects and furniture.

Klaus K

But one of my favourite things to do in Helsinki is: checking out restaurants ! I do not speak of traditional so-called-typical Finnish food like elk. Not that it’s bad but admit it: it is rather to show off next time when your friends compare what exotic meat everybody ate on his trips than to enjoy a fantastic dinner. There has been a development in Helsinki’s restaurant scene that brings very creative chefs from all around the world into this city’s kitchens. The food is very fresh and of high quality, the meals are creative and restaurants offer various atmospheres. Try “Sasso”, a Tuscan restaurant with fantastic food and an exceptional wine list. The service is outstanding and you can dare to ask for details of a wine and you will get the full story including who created the label on the bottle. Similar situation at “Fishmarket” , situated below “Sasso” in the same building and has the same owner but different approach and style. Despite its location in a cellar it is very bright and crisp in style. The fish is a well. Both restaurants can be found at the end of Esplanade street towards the port.

Another favourite is “Mecca”, a cool lounge/club goes restaurant goes club. The atmosphere is as you would expect it from a stylish club. Regular guests match this style – without the attitude you know from New York or Paris.

Mecca

Mecca

For another Mediterranean top restaurant I recommend “La Cucina”

La Cocina

with Catalonian and Basque cuisine. Located at the Palace Hotel’s second floor directly at the port. The restaurant welcomes guests with dark black and red design, stylish, modern but cozy. They offer pintxos (tapas) and main dishes of great variety and combinations. Fantastic dark blood coloured red match perfectly. I had my best deserts at this restaurant (chocolate varieties with sea salt) and would not fly Helsinki if I knew this restaurant was closed during that time (almost…).

La Cucina

I did not expect the great food and sophisticated interest for architecture and design before I came to Helsinki for the first time. Be surprised if you are going.

carsteng Destinations, Travel, Travel Guide ,

Pink’s Hot Dogs

July 30th, 2008

Pink’s Hot Dogs

Founded in 1939, Pink’s Hot Dogs is one of the most famous hot dog stands in the country. Located on the corner of Melrose and La Bera Ave in Los Angeles, local hot dog lovers and celebrities gather a Pink’s regularly for their famous chili dogs.

Pink’s Hot Dog Menu

  • Chili Dog
  • 10″ Stretch Chili Dog
  • Chili Cheese Dog
  • Bacon Chili Cheese Dog
  • Guadalajara Dog
  • Chili Dog with Suaerkraut
  • Mild or Spicy Polish Dog
  • Chicago Polish Dog
  • New York Dog
  • Coleslaw Dog
  • Polish Pastrami - Swiss Cheese Dog
  • Nacho Cheese Dog
  • Turkey Dog

To see pictures of celebrities who have visited Pink’s Hot Dogs before click here to go to the Official Pink’s Hot Dogs website.

LMT Clock Destinations, Dining Reviews, Travel ,

Take an Adventure on a Caribbean Cruise Ship for an easy, fun and cheap getaway

July 28th, 2008

Caribbean

 

Cruising around the Caribbean Island is the easier, fun and cheaper getaway. My family and I love cruising in Paradise. We call it Paradise because at the moment we step down onto the Caribbean we enter a state of true bliss; over and above we can listen to the tropical breeze swinging the tall and skinny palms as if they were dancing along with.

We do recommend bringing with you sunscreen lotion because the bright sun gets really intense in anticipation of the stunning sunset.

Easier, Fun and Cheaper

It’s easier because a Cruise Ship provides:

  • Exciting Alternative Itineraries.
  • Selection of Food and Beverage 24/7.
  • Beauty salon, Shops and Spas.
  • Bilingual Staff and Knowledgeable Concierge expert.
  • Safety ambiance and Medical Assistance if needed.

It’s fun because:

  • You meet new people and no hassles of getting lost. (Depends how big is the cruise ship)
  • Activities and Entertainment inside the cruise and Shore Excursion outside the cruise ship.
  • Fun if you travel with kids or with a big group.
  • Great weather.

It’s Cheaper because:

  • All above are included in one time price per person.
  • Duty-Free Allowance: Ship itineraries that include any of U.S Virgin Islands: St. Thomas; St. Croix; St. John.

Tips

I recommend Carnival Cruise line for young crowd.

For honeymooners or in a romantic trip I recommend The Royal Caribbean Int’l.

Upon shipping make sure you wear a bathing suit and have the essential items, since the luggage wouldn’t be available for hours.

Be aware that “Hurricane Season” is defined as June 10th through November 10th.

And one last tip: At Departure time take your luggage with you instead of waiting for the bellman to bringing down and prevent waiting time waiting for your luggage.

francesr Cruises, Destinations

Trip To Ecuador

July 16th, 2008

When I started planning to go to Ecuador, I was very excited because Ecuador was close to Colombia, my home country. I have not been back in my country for more than eight years.

The beginning of the trip to Ecuador:

The first city was Guayaquil. It was a great city but very hot. While riding the taxi from the airport, the taxi driver decided to check if our bags were still in the open-trunk every time we stopped at a traffic light. What I great start, ah??? Any way…we arrived to our hotel at the Best Western, checked in and ran downstairs to a great tour of the city in the afternoon. The tour guy was very knowledgeable of the history and culture of the city.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OxhlNyz7hE[/youtube]
Año Viejo

The best thing I liked about this city was the toys hanging on the street for the Año Viejo (This toys are only in the street when December gets close by since it’s a tradition to burn a character that you pick to welcome the New Year) and the iguanas at the different parks. I liked the toys because they reminded me of my childhood, and the iguanas because I had never seen then before. Also I like Malecon 2000, which has great restaurants overlooking at the sea and a fantastic view (just recommend to go in the day time).

Our second stay in Ecuador was Cuenca. It made a big impact on me. At the airport, there were lots of children asking for money and also looking for food in the trash cans. It was really sad, but aside from this the people look warm, nice and very honest. When we arrived to the hotel, we felt in love. It was a really great place. In the entire stay in Ecuador, we received the best service in this place. The hotel is really not a hotel, is a hostal but the best hostal you have ever seen. Its called Hostal Posada del Angel; great people, great service. It felt like I was with family.

Cuenca is a little cute town that you can feel really safe. There are great bar, amazing restaurants like La Mansion Del Belalcazar-what a great place!!! It is beautiful and perfect. That night we had great fun. Cuenca was really the best city for me in all the three big cities that we went to. It is such a great place with great people.

Our next city was Quito. It was very cold. Our hotel had the worst service but it was really fancy. At least our beds were very comfortable. A phone call there was $2.00 a minute, while in Cuenca it was $0.10. I don’t even want to remember how much I paid there in phone calls. We did a lot of touring and shopping, especially in Octavalo market. One of the things that I most liked when I went to Quito was the bike-ride tour. When we rode the bikes, it was very scary. I really thought I was going to fall. We rode from the volcano to the main park. One of the greatest attractions in Quito is La Mitad del Mundo. This place was amazing!!! Here you can buy your souvenirs as in Octavalo Market. See the video below for an example of one of the experiments that they perform at La Mitad del Mundo.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OxhlNyz7hE[/youtube]
Experiments in Mitad del Mundo Quito Ecuador

Hope you guys like my ideas.

take care and happy trip!

leidyhurtado Destinations, Travel , ,

Bike and Boat Tours in Amsterdam

June 30th, 2008

Bike and Boat Tours in Amsterdam

Locals riding by on bikes is very common in Amsterdam, see the city as the locals do by renting a bike. You can tour the city on bike or take a tour on a boat through Amsteram’s canals. The boats provide the best views of the city.

Review of Mike’s Bike and Boat Tours

Mike’s Bike and Boat Tours Amsterdam - Offers two separate tours throughout the year, the Daily Bike Tour and the Bike and Boat Tour. The Daily Bike Tour meets everyday from May until September and travels the entire city and countryside visiting sites such as a windmill and a cheese farm/clog factory. During the June, July and August months the Bike and Boat Tours are avaliable. These tours depart 3 times per week for about 5 hours for both the bike and boat tour. The bike tour goes through town and passes by sites such as Dam Square, the Nieuw Markt and the Anne Frank House. On the boat tour the group has the boat all to themselves. The tour lasts about an hour and takes you through the Amsterdam Canals including the Red Light District. Beer and soft drinks are served on the boat and are included in the tour price. On the way back, the boat will stop for snacks and sandwiches in Vondel Park. You can purchase snacks and sandwiches there or bring a packed lunch. For more information visit Mike’s Bike Tours Amsterdam.

Tips for getting the most out of your bike or boat tour

  • Make sure you are well equip with mosquito spray if you plan on taking these tours in the summer months.

LMT Clock Destinations, Travel, Travel Guide ,

Playa Tortuga

June 27th, 2008

Playa Tortuga

With lots open-air cafes, restaurants and bars to choose from, Playa Tortugas in Cancun Mexico’s white sandy beach is a great beach to visit. With shopping and tons of watersports, you can definitely make this beach a day trip.

The water at this beach is clear, calm and deep which is perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. Playa Tortugas means Turtle Beach in English, here’s a perfect example as to why it is named this:

Diving in Playa Tortuga Reef 2007

If you want to rent snorkeling equipment head over to the northern end of the island. You can also rent sailboards there as well.

Tips for visiting Playa Tortuga

  • No entrance fee.
  • There is a public bus you can take that will drop you off right in front of the entrance.
  • This is one of the local’s favorite beaches so expect crowds.
  • Restrooms and changing areas are located along the northern end of this beach.

LMT Clock Destinations, Travel, Travel Guide ,