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Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

June 13th, 2008

Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam

The Van Gogh Museum is located on Paulus Potterstraat 7 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The museum is home to more than 200 of Vincent van Gogh’s paintings. In fact, it is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings in the world! Drawings and letters from the famous artist are also on display. Guided and audio tours are available through the museum.

Tips for getting the most out of your visit

  • Go to the information desk and pick up a free leaflet (available in 8 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Russian). The leaflet contains a biography of Van Gogh’s life and can be used while watching the presentation on the first floor of Van Gogh’s life in chronological order. The leaflet also contains a map of the entire museum by floor.
  • The audio tour is offered in 9 languages including Dutch, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Mandarin. If you are going to be visiting in a group you will need to make reservations in advance. If you are visiting with children ask about the Children’s Audio Tour (for children ages 7 to 12).
  • The Van Gogh multimedia tour uses PDA technology to take visitors on a tour through the museum featuring reproductions, stories, photos, letters, drawings, interviews, film clips, music and games. This tour is available in English and Dutch.
  • Don’t forget to stop by the Van Gogh Museum Shop. They have tons of informative books and magazines about Van Gogh and other artists from the 19th century.
  • The museum is accessible for disabled visitors.
  • To get to the museum take tram number 2 and 5 from the Central Station. Here is a map of the location below:

View Larger Map

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Kalverstraat Amsterdam

June 11th, 2008

Kalverstraat Amsterdam

Kalverstraat in Amsterdam is the busiest shopping street of the entire street. Starting from Dam Square and ending about 750 meters down Munttoren, this street is the longest shopping street in Amsterdam packed with people! See the image below.

Kalverstraat Amsterdam

Tips for getting the most out of your Kalverstraat Amsterdam visit

  • Kalvertoren is a small shopping mall open 7 days a week. This mall stores such as features shops from department stores to boutiques. There are also many places to eat here as well.
  • It is most crowded on Saturdays and Sundays. Tuesday mornings are said to be the least crowded.

LMT Clock Destinations, Tips, Travel, shopping

Museum Het Rembrandt in Amsterdam

June 6th, 2008

Museum Het Rembrandt in Amsterdam

Museum Het Rembrandt

The Museum Het Rembrandt is actually the artist’s 17th century house. Rembrandt lived and worked in the house from 1639 to 1658. The house has been recreated and very little of the original home remains but his artwork in displayed along with other artists from the 17th century on the upper levels of the home. The home has 10 rooms and is a sight to see itself.

Tips for getting the most out of your visit

  • But sure to check out the demonstrations of how Rembrandt created his sketch art.
  • Sketches are located in the new building attached to the old house
  • You can purchase reproductions of Rembrandt’s work as full sized prints or postcards in the museum’s gift shop

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The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

June 2nd, 2008

The Anne Frank House in Amsterdam

The Anne Frank House is located at #263 Prinsengracht in the center of Amsterdam. This is the infamous house where Anne Frank and 8 others hid during Nazi Germany. Their story was captured by Anne Frank and later discovered in the dairies she kept. On May 3rd 1960 the Anne Frank House officially opened as a museum. The museum is well preserved and contains many original objects on display including Anne Frank’s diary. Guests can walk through the house where there are different rooms with exhibits, including the actual hiding place behind the bookshelf door.

What you should know before you visit the museum:

  • The museum is open daily, check the official museum’s website for times here: The Anne Frank House Opening Hours & Admission Prices
  • Set aside at least one hour to explore the house. There are no tours or tour guides, only a tour brochure with background information about each room which is available at the entrance.
  • Due to the steep stairway, this museum is not accessible to guests with walking difficulties

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Experience the True America: Travel ‘off the beaten path’

May 8th, 2008

Having a few international friends, I often consider where I would recommend they travel to have a TRUE American experience. With the current economic situation, some of these off-the-beaten-path destinations are looking better than ever. Here’s proof that the Mid-West should no longer be called the ‘fly-over-states.’


Madison, Wisconsin:

A gorgeous college town of 200,000+ situated between 2 lakes. Imagine a white capitol building and 5 blocks from its 3 and 9 o’clock positions are lakes and at the 6 o’clock position is State Street: a pedestrian-only street with bohemian shops (and the Gap), local bars and international restaurants (E. African, Afghani, etc). These 10 blocks lead straight to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Experience America in Madison:

  1. Go in the Fall for colorful leaves and the amazingly large farmers market around the capitol square every Saturday.
  2. Madison Wisconsin

    Madison Wisconsin

  3. Get there in time for the Halloween bash (Saturday before the holiday). Voted the #1 Halloween party by Playboy several years, it’s not really a family-friendly event.
  4. Madison Wisconsin Halloween Bash

    Madison Wisconsin Halloween Bash

  5. In the summer, the capitol square hosts Concert on the Square (free) every Wednesday night, bring a blanket, picnic and wine.
  6. Check out the Kohl center for concerts and sporting events
  7. Eat and Drink! Around the capitol is typically more upscale then on State Street.
  1. State Street and Campus

i. The Memorial Union – that’s right, the student union. Sit on the famous Terrace and have a beer (you might have to have a student order for you from the Ratskeller as you need to be a member or student!)

ii. Himal Chuli – Great Nepalese food

iii. Chautra – Hole in the wall Himalayan food, don’t get scared off by the wild plants in the entrance.

iv. State Street Brats – so wisco! Have a brat and stay for the bar atmosphere. Be sure to try a ‘Spotted Cow,’ a great local brew.

Now drive around Madison:

  1. Visit the many wineries and breweries such as Capital Brewery (www.capital-brewery.com or www.wollersheim.com).
  2. Head to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green for Shakespeare under the stars! (www.americanplayers.org)
  3. Also in Spring Green is Frank Llyod Wright’s famed home and studio, Taliesin (www.taliesinpreservation.org).

Budget Travel (www.budgettravel.com) had an article about Wisconsin in their May issue. Before you go, learn more about the Wisco-basics: http://www.youmightbe.com/pages/wisconsin.html


Chicago, Illinois

This is the city I recommend all foreigners visit (over New York) if they really want to experience the America not found in movies. Stay a few nights in the downtown area and a few in one of the neighborhoods like Wrigleyville or Lakeside. I will only add 2 notes about downtown as the sites are quite well known: try it before Christmas; cold yes, but also beautiful and, second, music lovers check out: www.lollapalooza.com. Now, more on the neighborhoods:

  1. Go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field (Wrigleyville)
  2. Before the game, have a few at one of the designated ‘Cubs bars’ near the stadium. (Wrigleyville)
  3. Every neighborhood has unique, local bars and restaurants. Some worth mentioning: Sheffield’s just off Belmont for a drink, Orange for amazing brunch, Joey’s Brickhouse for a great burger (all in Lakeshore)
  4. Go to the Weiner’s Circle late night (post bars), the busty lady behind the counter will verbally abuse you like its going out of style. (Lincoln Park)
  5. The shopping is great down town, but check out the boutique stores tucked inside the neighborhoods.

Louisville & Lexington, Kentucky

Known as the blue grass state, Kentucky is rich in history, beauty and Southern hospitality. All of Kentucky can get behind a 2 things – horses and basketball (if you are in Louisville cheer for the Cardinals, in Lexington, you are a UK fan!). The two cities are only 1.5 hours away by car.

  1. Lexington
    1. Keeneland – this small but beautiful horse track is only open in April and October. Although all walks of life are in attendance, I suggest dressing up (no hat required) and bringing $2 for a bet and $4 for a drink. www.keeneland.com.
    2. Keeneland Horse Track

    3. Afterwards head to Murray’s (www.murrays-merrick.com) for a drink on the patio and the food is great too (upscale southern food in an old Horse Manor). Go to Dudley’s downtown for brunch. www.dudleysrestaurant.com
    4. Wineries – have lunch and a tasting at Chrisman Mill, then at night, head to Talon Winery for its Summer Concert Series (tickets in advance for dinner and a concert: 859-971-3214).
    5. Bourbon! You can order a glass anywhere or tour the many distilleries such as Makers Mark. Dip your own bottle in the famous red wax.
    6. Right outside of Lexington you can’t miss the Shaker Village.
    7. Visit the Liquor Barn (I would live there if I could) the only thing to rival its selection of booze is the selection of amazing foods.
    8. Liquor Barn

  2. Louisville
    1. The Kentucky Derby – start with Keeneland then finish with the Derby. Unless you are young and stupid (and drunk), don’t opt for the infield. Be sure to wear a hat and order a mint julep.
    2. Don’t miss the Mohammed Ali Center, is interactive and really more about life and about a boxer. www.alicenter.org. There is also a Children’s museum in the area.
    3. Mohammed Ali Center

    1. 21c Museum Hotel – whether you stay here or just visit for an hour the art is too cool, and free. Visit the bathroom before you leave. www.21cmuseumhotel.com
    2. Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory is a must for any sports fan. All these museums are within walking distance too each other too. www.sluggermuseum.org
    3. Fourth Street Live – This is a street of bars and restaurants that is a lot of fun to eat during the day and drink during the night.

Before you leave this great state, be sure to ask someone what ‘corn hole’ is. Don’t worry, its not dirty. Your kids will even like it!

Traveling is all about your experiences, so whether you head off-the-beaten-path in Wisconsin, Illinois or Kentucky, you will be able to experience the beauty, culture, tradition . . . and various accents of the TRUE America.

i. Great Dane Pub- the best and most eclectic bar food and great beer! Get the beer sampler and sit in the outdoor beer garden. (www.greatdanepub.com)

ii. Restaurant Muramoto is a favorite – atypical Asian fusion with a very unassuming entrance.

iii. Marigold for breakfast or brunch. Café Continental is solid too.

iv. Harvest and L’Etoile are fine dining but worth it - the seasonal menus use local foods from local farms.

lvolcheff Destinations, Dining Reviews, Events, Featured, Tips, Travel , , , , , , , ,

Last Minute Cruises to the Caribbean…

May 2nd, 2008

Last Minute Cruises to the Caribbean…

Find yourself dreaming of island hopping to a variety of tropical locales? Last minute Caribbean cruises bring your dreams to life. Stretching from the southern tip of Florida to South America, it is easy to see why the Caribbean is such a draw for last minute cruises. This paradise offers azure blue waves teeming with aquatic wildlife. Scattered throughout the sea are thousands of miles of sunny shoreline waiting for your toes to meet the surf. As if sun, sand and surf weren’t enough, this region offers so much more. Whether your interests lie in water activities, unique cruise cuisine, duty-free shopping, or experiencing traces of lingering European culture, discount Caribbean cruises bring you countless opportunities. Choosing a Caribbean cruise line gives you the chance to see not one destination, but a handful, each boasting its own unique flair.

These island destinations are so diverse that three separate Caribbean cruise areas have been defined, each with its own distinct and exotic ports of call. Western Caribbean cruises, Eastern Caribbean cruises (including the Bahamas), and Southern Caribbean cruises each put forth a unique perspective on the history, culture and geography of this vast tropical region.

You are able to vary your itinerary by choosing from a quick 4 day Caribbean cruise, or take your time on a 7 day Caribbean cruise. No matter which you choose, you’re guaranteed several island stops, each of which opens the door to a different slice of paradise.

Don’t miss our hot cruise deals. Plan your getaway today on a royal Caribbean cruise ship or another Caribbean cruise line. The last minute cruise of your dreams is awaiting your discovery…book it today!

Don’t Miss…

▪ Climb Jamaica’s Dunn’s River Falls.
▪ Go mountain biking in Costa Rica’s rain forests.
▪ Snorkel with stingrays.
▪ Go horseback riding on the beach.
▪ Dive 800 feet below sea level in a research submarine.
▪ Discover the inhabitants of a coral reef on a glass-bottomed boat.
▪ Explore ancient civilizations as you climb mysterious Mayan pyramids

Find a Caribbean Cruise Deal…

Looking for a deal on a Caribbean cruise? We have selected the best cruises - from weekend getaways to more extensive escapes, we have a deal that fits your budget. Find a cruise online or call 1(866) 836-6963 to speak with a cruise expert.

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Shopping in Orlando

April 30th, 2008

As a repatriated foreign national, I am often ‘lucky’ enough to have both the near and extended family come stay with me for their summer holidays - a season we are on the very brink of now.

Aside from host, tour guide, butler, chef, chamber maid and free lodging, one of the main duties I fulfill is personal shopper, a role that my fiancée is far suited too, but I have picked up a few tips along the way….

Apparently one of the main shopping outlets in Orlando is the 4th largest tourist attraction in the State of Florida, a little scary, but not as scary as your average ‘door buster’ sale at your local Walmart…

So, for those not familiar with where to shop in Orlando, or even that there was such a prominent non-Theme Park pastime, here are some of the basics.

Bargains, and name brands.

No question, hands down winner is the Premium Factory Outlets in Lake Buena Vista. Very prominently located next to Interstate 4 and just off of Hwy 535, it’s easy to find and well worth the visit. You’ll find here all of the main brands that you would like to see, some obvious (Timberland, Nike, Reebok etc etc), but some not so obvious, Juicy Couture, Lacoste, Burburry and the like.

A couple of caveats; it’s BUSY! You’ll need a little patience for parking, especially at the weekends.

There’s a reason it’s cheap – most of the stores feature factory seconds, imperfect goods. Try anything you’re interested in on before you buy (did you know you are entitled to 30 days to return items with a receipt?).

Not everything is cheaper. Yes, if you are from almost anywhere overseas (thanks Mr. Bush), inevitably it will be cheaper than your home shopping venues due to the incredibly weak Dollar, BUT, just because it says ‘factory store’ doesn’t mean it is cheaper than a regular store (Bose for example, same price, less warranty).

Next up, the massively re-vamped Prime 1 Outlets at International Drive. Formerly known as Belz Factory outlet, up and coming and worth a look. Make sure to check ‘Neiman Marcus Last Call’ and ‘Saks Off Fifth’.

Still going strong;

Florida Mall is still a contender, it is home to some strong anchors such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Macy’s plus has a good variation from high end to unusual to cheap and cheerful. If you’re travelling with young kids, then the Build-A-Bear Workshop I think is a sure hit where the kids choose and build their own themed Teddy Bear!

Located on Sand Lake road, everyone knows where it is.

A little more up market.

Mall at Millennia. Near World Class shopping, including the Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus department stores. This Mall is a little nicer than many with some excellent spots for a glass of your favorite refreshment or a spot of lunch (Cheescake Factory is great).

While you’re there, don’t miss the periphery stores, apparently they didn’t build it big enough – there are a ton of great stores and eateries sprouting all around it.

Located on Conroy Road, easy to access via Interstate 4, and is just a couple of miles from the main entrance of Universal Studios.

pkitching Tips, Travel, Travel Guide , , ,

Visiting Orlando Florida This Summer? Read This

April 29th, 2008

Orlando Florida is home to some of the best attractions and theme parks in the world and the water parks are no exception! The following is a complete review with tips for the top water parks for Summer 2008.

Discovery Cove

Discovery Cove is a truly unique water park! Here, you’ll enjoy an entire day up close and personal with aquatic wildlife and birds. Main attractions include:

  • Aviary
  • Ray Lagoon
  • Coral reef
  • Starfish Cabana
  • Sea Horse Cabana
  • Sand Dollar Cabana
  • Tropical River
  • Resort Pool
  • Dolphin Lagoon

Discovery Cove Packages

You can purchase an All-Inclusive pass during the day and enjoy every attraction Discovery Cove has to offer. New for 2008 is the Evening Experience which offers a more intimate experience with only 150 guests allowed into the park per session. You get the same access to the park as the all-inclusive package with less people plus a night full of dining and dancing. Perfect for animal lovers, check out the Become a Trainer for a Day package to get a close look at what it is like to be a trainer. Discovery Cove also does group and family events, even special occasions.

Here is a review from WatchMojo.com where you can see guests interacting with the animals:

Tips for Getting the Most out of your visit

  • There are only 1,000 guests allowed in the park at one time during the day hours (9:00am - 3:00pm) so a reservation is required. Plan to visit this park at least a few weeks in advance.
  • The all-inclusive ticket will run you about $259. There is a cheaper all-inclusive package that includes everything except for the dolphin encounter for $100 less.
  • If you are visiting the park as a group and want to be in the same group for the dolphin encounter keep in mind that the groups are 6 to 8 guests at a time so figure out your dolphin encounter groups ahead of time.
  • If you are planning on taking home a picture or a video of your dolphin swim experience be sure to bring some extra cash with you as these souvenirs tend to be a bit pricey.
  • Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks are included in the admission price and are pretty tasty
  • For the Adventurous type: The dolphin encounter is a must. Explore shipwrecks and swim with thousands of tropical fish, stingrays, sharks and barracudas in the Coral Reef! There is a protective glass wall that separates you from the sharks and barracudas so no worries. Also make sure you get a chance to wade in the shallow waters of Ray Lagoon which is inhabited with tons of stingrays up to 4 feet in diameter.
  • For relaxation: Float along the Topical River, take a walk through the Aviary to see over 30 species of birds that you can feed and interact with, or take a dip in the Resort Pool which has a comfortable temperature of 80 degrees.

Blizzard Beach

Disney’s Blizzard Beach is a one of a kind and the world’s only ski resort themed water park. The entire water park looks like a winter wonderland with exciting water slides and a relaxing creek. Main attractions are broken down into categories and include:

  • Summit Plummet
  • Toboggan Racers
  • Slush Gusher
  • Downhill Double Dipper
  • Runoff Rapids
  • Ski Patrol Training Camp - Leisure Pool, Fahrenheit Drops, Freezin’ Pipe Springs, Cool Runners
  • Snow Stormers
  • Teamboat Springs
  • Tike’s Peak
  • Chairlift
  • Cross Country Creek
  • Melt-Away Bay

Dining

  • Avalunch - light entrees, snacks and beverages
  • Lottawatta Lodge - complete entrees (pizza, burgers, salads and sandwiches, desserts and beverages)
  • Warming Hut - lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts
  • Cooling Hut - snacks and beverages
  • Sled Dogger - deserts and beverages
  • Frostbite Freddie’s - bar
  • Polar Pub - bar

Shopping

  • North Pearl - Jewelry store specializing in pearls
  • Snowless Joe’s - locker and towel rentals; complimentary life jackets
  • The Beach Haus - souvenirs, swim wear, footwear and more

Blizzard Beach Packages

The price per day decreases the more days you purchase tickets for. There are three “Magic Your Way Tickets” options available the Park Hopper, Water Park Fun & More and the No Expiration. Here’s the break down:

  • Park Hopper - Visit multiple theme parks with one ticket. For an added bonus if you stay at a Disney Resort Hotel you can stay at the parks for an additional 4 hours to enjoy the Extra Magic Hours.
  • Water Park Fun & More - Choose from Typhon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
  • No Expiration - Pre-purchase 14 days of admissions which becomes active from their first time of use. The days do not expire so you can use the unused days another time.

Tips for getting the most out of your visit

  • Know which rides are for you. I have broken down the rides by Blizzard Beach’s categories to illustrate the intensity of each ride below.

Big Thrills: Summit Plummet, Toboggan Racers, Slush Gusher, Downhill Double Dipper.

Watch the video below for a virtual ride down the Summit Plummet

Mild But Wild Thrills: Runoff Rapids, Ski Patrol Training Camp, Snow Stormers, Teamboat Springs

Fun For Little Ones: Tike’s Peak

Other Attractions: Chairlift - Takes you up to Mount Gushmore (the fifth highest point in Florida according to Wikipedia) where you can navigate your way through the park. Cross Country Creek - lazy river that flows around the perimeter of the park. Melt-Away Bay - 1 acre wave pool.

  • During peak season Blizzard Beach can reach capacity quickly, to avoid getting turned away, try to get to the park early. In the summer the park tends to be less crowded in the late afternoons.
  • You can rent a locker for the day ($5 for a small locker and $7 for a large locker per day - there is an additional $2 key deposit required for both sized lockers).
  • Complimentary life jackets are available for free with a personal ID and a $25 refundable deposit.
  • If you forget your own towel you can rent one for $1 per day
  • 1 special guest can open the park but they have to be willing to go down Summit Plummet. This guest is usually chosen with a family and by providing the cast member with humorous banter.
  • For those of you who want to soak up some sun, try to get into the park early to get some lounge chairs. When setting up your lounge chairs note that shaded areas in the morning will be sunny in the afternoon. The sun goes from the front of Mount Gushmore in the morning to the back of Mount Gushmore in the afternoon.
  • To avoid long lines, do the big slides early.

SeaWorld’s Aquatica

Aquatica, the brand new water park by SeaWorld, is located right across the street from SeaWorld. This park combines an up close and personal encounters with marine life with extreme water rides. Main attractions include:

  • Big Surf Shores
  • Cutback Cove
  • Kata’s Kookaburra Cove
  • Roa’s Rapids
  • Taumata Racer
  • Walhalla Wave
  • Walkabout Waters
  • HooRoo Run
  • Whanau Way
  • Dolphin Plunge
  • Loggerhead Lane
  • Tassie’s Twisters
  • Commerson’s Dolphin Exhibit
  • Fish Grotto

The clip below was taken on the park’s opening day March 1st, 2008:

Aquatica Packages

There are 4 different packages you can purchase:

1 Park Package: Aquatica $38.95 (Adult) $32.95 (Child)

2 Park Package: Aquatica and Sea World $89.95 (Adult) $79.95 (Child)

3 Park Package: Aquatica, Sea World and Busch Gardens $134.95 (Adult) $124.95 (Child)

Discovery Cove Package: Aquatica and Discovery Cove plus Sea World or Busch Gardens (choose one) Prices Start at ($242.00)

Discovery Cove Ultimate Package: Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Sea World and Busch Gardens pirces start at $287.00

Orlando Flex Ticket Package: Aquatica, Sea World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Wet N Wild $234.95 (Adult) $194.95 (Child)

Orlando Flex Ticket Plus: Aquatica, Sea World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and Wet N Wild

Tips for Getting the Most out of your visit

  • We will follow up in a few months with some tips

Typhoon Lagoon

The Disney “legend” behind Typhoon Lagoon is a typhoon wreaked havoc on a pristine tropical paradise. This park features water slides, a shark reef and the world’s largest wave pool. Main attractions include:

  • Crush ‘n’ Gusher
  • Humunga Kowabunga
  • Ketchakiddee Creek
  • Gank Plank Falls
  • Kellhaul Falls
  • Mayday Falls
  • Shark Reef
  • Storm Slides
  • Surf Lessons
  • Surf Pool

Typhoon Lagoon Dining

  • Leaning Palms - lunch, dinner, snacks and desserts
  • Typhoon Tilly’s - lunch and dinner
  • Happy Landings Ice Cream - desserts
  • Lowtide Lou’s - snacks and beverages
  • Let’s Go Slurpin’ - bar featuring frozen drink specials and spirits
  • Surf Doggies - hot dogs and turkey legs

Typhoon Lagoon Shopping

  • Singapore Sal’s - shop for swim wear, sunscreen, t-shirts, hats, beach chairs, sunglasses, sundries and photo pick-up.

Typhoon Lagoon Packages

Same as Blizzard Beach, the price per day decreases the more days you purchase tickets for. There are three “Magic Your Way Tickets” options available the Park Hopper, Water Park Fun & More and the No Expiration. Here’s the break down:

  • Park Hopper - Visit multiple theme parks with one ticket. For an added bonus if you stay at a Disney Resort Hotel you can stay at the parks for an additional 4 hours to enjoy the Extra Magic Hours.
  • Water Park Fun & More - Choose from Typhon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park, Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex and Downtown Disney Pleasure Island.
  • No Expiration - Pre-purchase 14 days of admissions which becomes active from their first time of use. The days do not expire so you can use the unused days another time.

Tips for Getting the Most out of your visit

  • Lockers are available for rent $6 for a small and $8 for a large with a $2 refund or souvenir mug when you return the key to the locker
  • If you forget to bring a towel you can rent one for $2 per towel per day
  • If you want to surf in the Surf Pool group size is limited to 8 to 20 surfers per reservation and is done before and after general park hours. Below is a video of some guests surfing in the Surf Pool:

  • If you don’t know how to surf and want to take lessons, they are available at the Surfing School at Typhoon Lagoon and cost $125. 12 students per class so space is limited. Classes take place every Tuesday.
  • Some guests recommend that you wear water shoes in the wave pool to avoid scraping your feet on the no slip floor and avoid sitting on the floor of the pool, even in the shallow end to avoid scrapes and potential bruises. Waves in the wave pool can reach a height of 6 feet tall. This is not really an attraction for smaller children, Ketchakiddee Creek is a better choice for them.

Check out our Orlando Florida Package Deals and Orlando Florida destination page on LastMinuteTravel.com. Stay tuned for more coverage of the Orlando Theme Parks.

Erica Fischer Tips, Travel, Travel Guide , , , ,

Atlantic City vs Las Vegas

April 28th, 2008

In a recent article published by TravelMole Atlantic City was said to be rated higher by consumers than Las Vegas. Here are the highlights:

Atlantic City vs Las Vegas

  • 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.

Erica Fischer Destinations, News, Tips, Travel, Travel Guide , ,

Cedar Pointe

April 25th, 2008

Cedar Pointe is a seasonal park located in Sandusky, Ohio that is open May through September. If you live close by, it’s an easy drive from Toledo or Cleveland, a little further from the Detriot area, but still doable as a day trip. For 2008 a one day pass will only cost you $42.95 per person. For everyone else, I recommend making a weekend out of it and getting a two day pass for only $71.95 which will give you admission to both Cedar Pointe and Soak City. Soak City is an amazing water park with great slides and relaxing lazy river.

Rides

If you are a roller coaster enthusiast Cedar Pointe is the park for you! Personally, my favorite roller coaster is the Raptor, here’s why:

The number one rated roller coaster at Cedar Point is the Millenium Force roller coaster. Be careful with this one on a cloudy day, they will actually shut down the ride when the clouds cover the top of the first hill which is 310 feet high! Don’t forget to check out the HUGE, Giant Ferris Wheel.

Food

Cedar Pointe is famous for salt water taffy and homestyle fries with vinegar. There are also many great restaurants to choose from.

Fun for the whole Family

Cedar Pointe features a great kiddie area with just as many rides for them as the adults, shows and carnival style games.

Tips

  • Make it a long weekend and take the ferry across Lake Erie to Put-in-Bay. This island has a waterfront park, unique shops, eateries and historical attractions.
  • If you are traveling with a pet they offer PetChek for $15.00 per day per pet.
  • Lockers are available if you need one
  • Bring lots of sunscreen, the park is right on the coast of Lake Erie and the sun can be doubly harsh.

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