It sounds like flights to some parts of Europe have resumed today, but others continue to be delayed. If you’re stranded in Orlando, then you should know about some of the local attractions reaching out to provide you some hospitality.
SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is offering free one-day admission to any United Kingdom, Irish or Continental European tourists stranded in Florida due to the interruption in international air travel caused by Icelandic volcanic ash.
The offer is valid starting Saturday, April 17, 2010 at SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica in Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Stranded tourists must present to the parks’ front gate Guest Services window a valid return airline ticket from Wednesday, April 14, 2010 through Wednesday, April 21, 2010 or until normal flight schedules resume.
One ticket will be offered at each park for each return flight ticket presented. Children under age 3 are free. Further information is available by calling 1-888-800-5447.
With a giant volcanic ash cloud paralyzing air travel across Europe many passengers are stuck in the weird in-between world of airportlandia while they wait for mother nature to clear the skies. Turns out that when clouds of volcanic ash delays your flight you’re not entitled to compensation by the airline, so many have been forced to camp out at airports. Many for two days and perhaps longer. What’s an airport’s responsibility when this occurs?
The Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has decided that extending as much hospitality as possible is the way to go. They’re prepared for events like this and have made available free beds and personal hygiene kits. There is some free food and wandering entertainment for stranded passengers too. Plus they’ve event opened the liquor stores, which must lend to a festive attitude.
Check out this clip from an online TV channel. You may not understand everything said, but it’s clear that they’re going the extra mile to make their guests comfortable.
I also enjoyed this mobile phone video of the Schiphol staff goofing off during the ‘Schiphol Crisis‘.
We hope that if you’re stranded in an airport due to the volcanic ash cloud that you’re being treated as well. And we’re doing a little rain dance for you to help clear up the skies soon.
Hogwarts Express stands at the entrance to Hogsmeade
Inspired by J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will provide visitors with a one-of-a-kind experience complete with multiple themed attractions, shops and a restaurant. Set to open this spring the immersive experience will wow guests with three major rides and a host of smaller shops, attractions, and dining locations that will put you right into the world of Harry Potter.
From the front archway of Hogsmeade to the immensity of Hogwarts castle, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will feature the locations listed below:
At the entrance of Hogsmeade, billowing steam and an iconic whistle signal the arrival of the Hogwarts Express into Hogsmeade station
Across the way is Zonko’s, a joke shop with a collection of tricks and jokes, including Extendable Ears, Boxing Telescopes and Sneakoscopes
Honeydukes is next door and full of treats like Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans
The Three Broomsticks and adjacent Hog’s Head pub will feature traditional British fare and drinks including Butterbeer and pumpkin juice
Across from the Three Broomsticks is The Owlery, where owls roost and await their next delivery
The Owl Post sends letters with a certified Hogsmeade postmark and sells official stamps from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Ollivanders wand shop is an incredible interactive experience where the wand chooses the wizard
Completing Hogsmeade is Dervish and Banges, the magical instruments and equipment shop featuring Quidditch equipment, Triwizard apparel, Spectrespecs and Remembralls
The first attraction, Dragon Challenge, features a twin high-speed roller coaster with many iconic elements from the Triwizard Tournament
Next is Flight of the Hippogriff, a family coaster simulating a Hippogriff training flight over the grounds of Hogwarts castle
Located in Hogwarts castle, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a thrilling new state-of-the-art attraction that uses entirely new technology to bring the magic, characters and stories of Harry Potter to life in ways never before experienced
Before exiting back into Hogsmeade, Filch’s Emporium of Confiscated Goods is full of Ministry of Magic and magical creatures merchandise, Omnioculars, and even remote control Golden Snitches
If you’re excited about booking your own journey to Orlando to explore the magical world of Harry Potter, you’ll be happy to hear that Universal Orlando has set a date for which you’ll be safe to book — May 28th. Technically Universal has announced that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will open in Spring 2010, but enough of the world should be open by May 28th to let you explore. Specific opening information will come as soon as it is available.
When Walt Disney World and Disneyland rolled out the “Give A Day, Get A Disney Day” promotion, they announced a cap of 1 million volunteers, but wondered if they would reach that goal by the end of 2010. It’s been just over two months and that goal has now been reached.
The promotion aimed to get people volunteering in their local communities in exchange for a free ticket to a Disney theme park. Alternatively you could donate that ticket to a non-profit organization.
Disney announced that the promotion has now come to a close but they hope that doesn’t end the desire to go volunteer in your community or as part of your vacation plans.
Family vacationers get ready to enjoy one more option for fun on your next trip to Orlando. Merlin Entertainment will be building a new Legoland theme park at the Cypress Gardens location in Winter Haven, FL. Winter Haven is about a 45 minute drive from the attractions area.
While technically the announcement wasn’t supposed to be made until tomorrow, Merlin did Polk County a favor and gave them a heads up via email. Since in Florida all emails are public record, The Lakeland Ledger requested a copy and Merlin’s plans were unveiled.
Legoland operates four parks around the world, but Merlin Entertainment, along with its owner the Blackstone Group, is the second largest owner of amusement and theme park properties in the world. The first being The Walt Disney Company.
It’s unclear exactly what form the new Legoland will take or if it will incorporate any of the remaining rides on the property. However, there is a water park at the location and that is assumed to be one of the features that make this purchase attractive for Merlin.
In the last couple of days we’ve been hearing more about a possible breakout of a new influenza virus named Swine Flu.
This virus is well known by the medical community as one which mainly attacks pigs. It is now confirmed that the virus has been found in humans. The breakout most likely appeared first in Mexico where over 100 people so far have lost their lives. Many of the hundreds of people that may have been exposed the virus do not face any threat to their lives. A few things we want to make travelers aware of. Today’s medicine can easily tackle much tougher cases than Swine Flu. The chance of getting infected while traveling to/in the US is smaller than the chance of being kidnapped while flying. Our job is to convey this to our clients so any attempt to cancel a trip is reconsidered.
As more information becomes available we will keep you posted.
In a recent article published by TravelMole Atlantic City was said to be rated higher by consumers than Las Vegas. Here are the highlights:
Market Metrix’s latest hospitality study reported that Atlantic City was rated higher by consumers for price, sophistication and pampering.
A recent survey published in Hotel & Motel Management magazine said that Atlantic City beat out Las Vegas when it came to the hotel and casino experience.
San Rafael from Market Metrix conducted a survey asking guests if they would recommend the resort they stayed at to others; 78% of Atlantic City guests said that they were very likely to recommend the resort while only 59% of Las Vegas guests said that they were very likely to recommend the resort.
Here are the top 10 attractions in Atlantic City:
1. Harrah’s Atlantic City Casino
2. The Pier at Caesars
3. Central Pier
4. Wild Wild West Casino
5. Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum
6. Casino at the Tropicana Resort
7. Atlantic City Historical Museum
8. Garden Pier
9. The Quarter at Tropicana
10. Caesars Atlantic City Casino
For the best value on a vacation to Atlantic City, check out LastMinuteTravel.com’s Package Deals.