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About Our Agent Bloggers

All Agents are College of Disney Knowledge graduates, with some also holding additional specialties like:   Accredited Cruise Counselor, Universal Specialist, Sandals & Beaches Specialist, as well as other destination specialties.   Our Agents are experienced travelers.  If your specific agent hasn’t experienced “it”, there is someone in the Agency that has; so you have access to first-hand, experienced advice.  That’s how we can provide you this experiential based travel planning service!  We are an entire Team working together!

Our Agents will ALWAYS, without fail, no exceptions – tell you the truth and do what they say.

Trained. Traveled. Trusted.  It’s Who We Are.

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions, Universal Orlando | 0 comments

Hagrids_HogwartsView Content Stephanie

July 4, 2020

Dominguez, Universal Orlando Resort’s Engagement team

EDITOR’S NOTE: The imagery shown throughout this blog post does not represent current operational and safety guidelines at Universal Orlando Resort.  Please refer to our safety guidelines here

Have you ever dreamed of going beyond the grounds of Hogwarts? Do you remember the excitement as you would read about the thrilling and wondrous adventures in the Forbidden Forest? Well, get ready for your dreams to come true at Universal Orlando Resort.

Whether you’re a Harry Potter fan, roller coaster enthusiast, or are looking forward to the latest Universal Orlando Resort attraction, here’s the ultimate guide to Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, located in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

THE QUEUE: 

For the first time ever, you will get to venture to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Alan Gilmore, Art Director for the Harry Potter film series, joined Universal Orlando Resort in making this truly immersive and magical experience for all guests to enjoy. Here are some tips and things to keep an eye out for that the team included…

  • Make sure to enjoy the views as you walk in because you can spot Hogwarts castle, Hagrid’s hut, and a view of the ruins that you’ll soon enter.
  • When you enter the ruins, you’ll spot statues of rare magical creatures found in the wizarding world.
  • You’ll see some incredible drawings in this room that are definitely worth your attention.
  • In the ruins, you may encounter some familiar faces who will help prepare you for your journey.
  • Once you reach the fireplace, you’ll may spot footprints belonging to a small fiery creature.
  • These ruins seem uninhibited, but act as a holding space for some of Hagrid’s belongings, such as a curious collection of eggs.
  • Keep an eye out for Hagrid. It seems he’s been up to something.
    • Notice scratch marks and burn marks on the walls?
    • Looks like Hagrid left teddy bears and blankets?
    • Did you spot the page in The Monster Book of Monsters?

HAGRID 

You’ll meet Hagrid face-to-face in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, as he takes you through the Forbidden Forest for a Care of Magical Creatures class. As you climb aboard a magical motorbike, you’ll experience how it feels to be a beloved student of Hagrid. The team at Universal Orlando left no detail untouched when it comes to this animatronic version of the beloved half-giant…

  • Hagrid stands at 7 feet, 6 inches tall.
  • His movie-real costume weighs about 50 lbs.
  • If you look at Hagrid’s hands, you’ll find dragon-skin gloves.
  • Does Hagrid look real? That’s because he’s Universal Orlando’s first human-like animated figure.
    • Meticulous work went into placing individual hair strands – including eyebrows and lashes.
    • Incredible attention to detail was taken to recreate Hagrid’s likeness from the films, including a meticulously hand-sculpted face, digital scans of Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane’s teeth, and careful placement of individual hair strands -including eyebrows and lashes.
    • See more Hagrid facts here.

MAGICAL CREATURES YOU’LL ENCOUNTER

Get ready to encounter some of the Wizarding World’s magical creatures. As we all know,  Hagrid, Hogwarts gamekeeper and Care of Magical Creatures professor, has a soft spot for even the most ‘seriously misunderstood’ creatures. You’ll encounter lots of these creatures along your journey through the Forbidden Forest…

  • Fluffy, Hagrid’s Three-Headed Dog
    • In this new adventure, Fluffy weighs 8,000 Ibs, which is roughly as big as two standard Muggle cars.
  • Blast-Ended Skrewts
    • Described as a cross between scorpions and elongated crabs, Skrewts aren’t afraid to attack other Skrewts they encounter. They have incredibly strong armor that can’t be penetrated by spells – proving to be a challenge for Hagrid since they hatched.
      • FUN FACT: Manticores and Fire Crabs were the magical creatures Hagrid used to create Blast-Ended Skrewts.
  • Magorian, the Centaur
    • A Centaur is a magical creature with a human head, torso and arms, joined to a horse’s body. They are, however, their own species and should be treated with great respect.
  • Devil’s Snare
    • This perilous plant from the wizarding world has been known to strangle people, who touch it, with its dexterous vines. Devil’s Snare flourishes in damp, dark environments and it has a strong dislike of light and fire.
      • Remember, “Devil’s Snare, Devil’s Snare is deadly fun, but will sulk in the sun.”
CornishPixie
  • Cornish Pixies
    • Cornish pixies are electric blue tricksters who love to create mischief – often at the expense of others. They’re about 13 inches tall and you’ll find more than a dozen pixies throughout this adventure.
  • Fire Crab
    • Make sure you keep an eye out at the end of a tunnel in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure as you’ll get a glimpse of a heavily jeweled shell of a Fire Crab.
  • Manticore
    • You may see a drawing of this dangerous creature that has an animal head, a lion’s body, and scorpion’s tail.
  • Gnomes
    • They’re hard to spot, but you may hear these mischievous garden creatures as you’re headed toward the Forbidden Forest.
  • Salamanders
    • Traces of these fire-dwelling creatures can be found around heated areas of this attraction.

For more details on the creatues found in Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, check this out.

Hagrids Coaster

THE COASTER

For the first time, students will get to fly to the edge of the Forbidden Forest. Not only is this an incredibly immersive ride but this roller coaster is literally a record-breaker. See for yourself what makes this a record-breaking roller coaster…

  • Longest roller coaster in Florida at 5,053 feet long 
  • Coaster with the most launches in the world, with 7 launches
  • Enjoy a true free fall vertical drop at nearly 17 feet

Other roller coaster facts:

  • Enjoy two unique ride experiences as you can ride Hagrid’s motorbike or the adjacent sidecar
  • This attraction reaches a maximum height of 65-feet
  • There is a 73-degree spike that goes backward in one-movement
  • This attraction is 3 minutes of non-stop ride time
  • There are over 1,200 real trees that were used to recreate this enchanted forest.

For some more roller coaster facts, read this blog about all the thrilling details of the ride.

OK, so who’s excited to experience their own journey to the Forbidden Forrest? Come see us soon, choose a seat on the motorbike or in the sidecar, and experience all this for yourself!

Originally published: https://blog.universalorlando.com/things-to-do/the-ultimate-guide-to-hagrids-magical-creatures-motorbike-adventure-at-universal-orlando-resort/

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Running with RunDisney

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Running with RunDisney

Carrie Fulton
7.2.20

After seeing my good friend, Sara, run several RunDisney races, I decided to register for the Wine and Dine half marathon in November of 2015. I’ve now completed a combination of 11 races with RunDisney, both in the parks and virtual summer series, as well as races at Universal Studios Orlando. I wanted to share my experience through a series of blogs that will cover the basics, as well as compare and contrast these experiences (as well as compare them the dozens of other races experiences I’ve participated in.)

Once you’ve decided to participate, we’ll discuss your plans and figure out which resort you’d like to stay at. Then I’ll do the leg work to book your room and buy your race bib through RunDisney before the event registration date!

Doing this actually gets you the ability to officially register for your races before it opens to the general public! Booking as early as possible is critical because they have limited spots for each race for those that book a room first. However, be aware that once you purchase your bib it is non-refundable and non-transferrable, as it is with all major races.

Once I book your room and secure your bib, you will get an email link so you can register a few days before registration opens which is awesome since these events sellout within hours once they’re open to the public. Also be sure to submit your proof of time if you have one to ensure you’re as high up in the corrals as possible! It just makes for a more enjoyable experience overall.

Then training begins if it hasn’t already. RunDisney does have some great training plans from beginner to expert with the help of racing expert Hal Higdon who does every race with his wife at his side!

The rest of planning your trip is quite similar to planning any trip to Walt Disney World. You plan your parks, FastPass+ selections, meals, etc. Once your race weekend has arrived, you will need to go to the Expo to get your gear and pick up some swag! This is where RunDisney is set apart.

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The Expo is at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in WDW. Packet pickup is in one building while the Expo portion is in another. My biggest tip for you, other than to book your room early, is to get there before it opens and head to the Expo FIRST! They have race specific “I did it” shirts, ornaments, headbands, jackets, shorts, wine glasses, etc., and that’s just the RunDisney stuff which can sell out if you don’t get there in time.

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They have many other vendors there with some great products for you to check out. I personally love Raw Threads for their super soft bamboo shirts! And they have experts there to help you put on KT tape should you need it, which is awesome because they can reapply it should you be running in more than one race over the course of the weekend.

The morning of your race is EARLY! We’re talking “getting up at 3:15am to head to the start line early.” But there’s something really awesome about getting up and seeing your fellow runners. Every person there has a reason they could have used as an excuse not to run, yet they chose to take time for themselves to prove how awesome they really are. And then there’s the costumes! I’m not a costume person, but I can say I have seen a costume for Every. Single. Disney. Movie. Ever. as well as a person running as Spaceship Earth and a group as a monorail.

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Each corral is given its own send off with fireworks and music, which means if you’re more of a turtle than a hare, your start is just as special since they wait several minutes between starts so everyone can get as close as possible to the start line. My tip is to get as close to the front third of your corral, and you do that by getting there early. Yes, you’ll be in the corral while, but your race experience will be nicer. Corrals are difficult to manage at any race, and the announcements and entertainment can be frustrating when all you want to do is start your race. Just remember that they’re necessary for organizers to try and pace the race effectively for everyone and that once you begin your race and find your groove, it will be worth it!

During the race there are stops at every mile for entertainment such as DJs, characters you can opt to stop and take a picture with, and even some backstage areas with cast members cheering you along the way. You also get to run through the parks which is spectacular as you remember your times there whether it was going as a small child or what you happened to do the day before.

Mickey and Minnie take time out of their busy day to be at every finish line and welcome you back. Then you’re given your medal, water and snack box which is preassembled to ensure everyone gets food which is so nice since there are some races where the bananas are wiped out before the middle of the pack gets through.

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People have asked if I think these race experiences are worth the money. Honestly, as an avid Disney fan, yes I do. There are enough unique experiences that are associated with it in addition to fulfilling goals I set for myself. There’s just something about running at Disney that makes it worth the early morning runs, the long runs after work, the money spent…because you’re getting souvenirs that, in the grand scheme of things, few people actually get and that makes it all the more special.

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EXTENDED Book 1 Room, Get 1 Room FREE at Moon Palace Jamaica, Book By: 7/10/2020

Posted by on 2:32 pm in NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

EXTENDED Book 1 Room, Get 1 Room FREE at Moon Palace Jamaica, Book By: 7/10/2020

July 1, 2020

Consumer E-Flyer - 2 for 1 in Paradise Extended-page-0Book a room and pay in full in order to enjoy second room for free.
Booking window: Through July 10, 2020
Travel window: Through December 20, 2020
Terms and conditions
Not ready to book the complimentary room? Make sure you book the first paid room by calling your preferred tour operator or direct with Palace Resorts. Come back when you are ready and fill out the Complimentary Room Form. Complimentary room may be requested up to 45 days prior to client’s preferred departure date. Terms and conditions for paid room: Applies to Palace Resorts and Le Blanc Spa Resorts properties. Guests booking paid room at The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun or Le Blanc Spa Resorts properties can book the complimentary room at any Palace Resorts or Le Blanc Spa Resorts property. Guests booking paid room at Moon Palace Cancun or Moon Palace Jamaica can book the complimentary room at any resort except The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun, Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun, and Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos. Guests booking paid room at Beach Palace, Cozumel Palace, Isla Mujeres Palace, Playacar Palace, or Sun Palace can only book complimentary room at any of these resorts. Valid for reservations with a minimum 5-night stay. Minimum night stay per property must be met in order to receive promotions. Maximum number of paid rooms for this promotion is four. Travel agent will only be able to book four complimentary rooms. Paid room reservation with a minimum 5-night stay can be extended with a complimentary room stay. Complimentary room occupancy will be determined by the maximum number of guests allowed in the paid room category. Complimentary room category will be the same as paid room or of a category of lesser monetary value. Guests in complimentary room must travel on the same travel dates as paid room or wait until paid room has completed travel. Valid in all room categories with the exception of Villas and/or Residence. Paid room is non-refundable. Once paid room is confirmed, date changes are allowed, but travel must be completed by December 20, 2020. Airport transfers are not included. Visit https://transfers.palaceresorts.com to purchase airport transfers. $1,500 Resort Credit is only included in paid room. Complimentary rooms are not commissionable and do not count towards the Palace PRO Specialist Program. Not valid for rooms with discounted rates, FAM trips, site inspections, complimentary or compensatory stays, travel agent rates or any other reduced rates in the market. Not combinable with any other promotion. Other terms and conditions may apply.

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Sandals & Beaches Resorts 4th of July Sale Book By: 7/7/2020

Posted by on 1:05 pm in NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Sandals & Beaches Resorts 4th of July Sale Book By: 7/7/2020

July 1, 2020

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Happy Long Independence Day Weekend! Book any qualifying Sandals Resort vacation of 6-PAID nights or more and receive a branded Toscana Charcuterie Board Set & Private Candlelight Dinner for 2 when you book by July 7, 2020.

Booking Window: July 1 – 7, 2020.

Travel Window: July 1, 2020 – Dec. 26, 2021. Blackout & Resort Reopening Dates apply.

Blackout dates: Dec. 27 – 31, 2020 | Dec. 27 – 31, 2021.

  • Offer is valid for new bookings only.
  • All bookings must meet the criteria in order to qualify.
  • Offer valid for all room categories at any Sandals Resorts.
  • Sandals Resorts qualifying bookings are eligible to receive a Sandals branded Toscana Charcuterie Board Set & Private Candlelight Dinner for Two.
  • Offers valid for bookings made on July 1 – 7, 2020.
  • Travel dates based on resort re-opening dates which may vary by Resort.
  • Blackout and Travel Dates are as specified in our Standard Promotional Conditions.
  • Offer valid for a qualifying stay of at least six (6) PAID nights.
  • Registration is required to receive promotional offer. The UVI booking number must be entered on the registration page.
  • Guests must register their booking within 72 hours on sandals.com/specials/4th-of-july-sale-registration/.
  • Information provided is subject to verification and registering is not a guarantee that your booking qualifies for the offer.
  • The Private Candlelight Dinner for 2 must be redeemed at the Sales office, reserved and used during the qualifying stay as capacity is limited.
  • The promotional gift, Toscana Charcuterie Board Set, will be distributed 6-8 weeks post-travel, timing may exceed depending on travel dates and inventory.
  • We will deliver the Toscana Charcuterie Board Set to the address provided on the online registration page. If failure to update the address or you are no longer at that address, the guest is responsible for notifying us by calling 1-800-SANDALS or your travel agent and updating your address before their stay at Sandals and Beaches Resorts. Guests may also update their address address under “Your Account” at sandalsselect.com.
  • LATAM bookings are ineligible to receive the physical mailed gift of the Toscana Charcuterie Board Set.
  • Promotional product offered and color may vary from the product initially displayed.
  • Gift cannot be mailed to P.O. boxes.
  • Exceptions will only be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • The offers are not redeemable for cash and cannot be used to pay the balance of any booking, applicable tax, service charge, or gratuity.
  • The offers have no cash value and cannot be sold, exchanged, or transferred.
  • Promotion is not applicable to contracted Groups.
  • Offer is subject to change and can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Unique Vacations and Sandals Resorts are not responsible for errors and omissions.

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Norwegian Cruise Line Pre-Paid Gratuities Book By: 7/21/2020

Posted by on 7:30 am in Cruise Specials, Cruises, NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

Norwegian Cruise Line Pre-Paid Gratuities Book By: 7/21/2020

July 1, 2020

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Book your next incredible vacation with Norwegian and let us pick up the tips –all of them! That’s right, book today with Pre-Paid Gratuities and we’ll tip your crew for the exceptional services you will experience on board. Plus, enjoy 5 Free Offers including Free Open Bar, Free Specialty Dining, Free Excursions, Free WiFi and Free Kids. So sit back, relax and enjoy first-class service and world-class offers from ship to shore.

Terms and Conditions:
Offer is not applicable to category BX or MX (Sail Away Category).
Applicable to guests 1-2 on reservation. Offer not applicable to guests 3-8.
Offer is for new individual FIT reservations.
Qualifying new individual FIT reservations can be moved into an existing FS or Traditional group and count towards tour conductor credits.
Promotion cannot be held as a new or existing traditional or FS group block.
Promotion cannot be held in Traditional Groups/Type: Affinity, Nettour, NettourC, CHARTERS, CMI OP EVENT, CMI OP LG EVENT, INCREG & INCLARGE.
Promotion cannot be held in FS Groups/Type: Affinity, Nettour or NettourC (classification type).
Offer is not combinable with charter or inaugural sailings.
Pre-Paid Service Charges are applicable to the 1st and 2nd guest in the stateroom 3 years of age and up.
Guests are responsible for onboard gratuities applicable to all other shipboard purchases.
Offer is capacity controlled and can be withdrawn at anytime.
Guest cannot substitute or customize this offer.
Government taxes, port expenses & fees, general excise tax (GET), and discretionary on board service charges and/or gratuities are additional.
Cancellation fees also apply based on the booking/sailing date; therefore, Norwegian Cruise Line strongly recommends the purchase of travel protection on all bookings. No components included in this offer have any monetary value, are non-refundable and non-transferable.
This is a cruise only offer. This promotion is not applicable on the land portion of cruisetours or bundles.
Offer and combinability with other promotional offers is subject to change at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line’s discretion. Other restrictions may apply.
Applicable to NCL MIAMI, NCL INTL, AUSTRALIA, NCL BRAZIL, NCL ASIA, NCL MEA. Not applicable to CE or UK offices.
This is a higher level promotion.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Norwegian Cruise Line reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement without prior notice should the closing price of West Texas
Intermediate Fuel increase above $65.00 USD per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index). In the event a fuel supplement is charged, Norwegian Cruise Line will have sole discretion to apply the supplementary charge to both existing and new bookings, regardless of whether such bookings have been
paid in full. Such supplementary charges are not included in the cruise fare. The fuel supplement charge will not exceed $10.00 USD per passenger per day Norwegian Cruise Line is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions.
Ships’ registry: BAHAMAS and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. ©2020 NCL Corporation Ltd

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Universal Orlando’s Portofino Bay Resort Club Level

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Universal Orlando’s Portofino Bay Resort Club Level

Tara Mulkerin
6.30.20

For my first visit to Universal Orlando Resort I wanted to do it up right.

I chose the Portofino Bay Resort for three reasons. The free Universal Express Unlimited pass access; club Level Access and Italian theming.

The Express Pass which affords skipping the regular line for a much quicker exclusive line all day over and over. We saved so much time I would have a difficult time enjoying myself without it! Universal includes the unlimited express pass at the Portofino, Hard Rock and Royal Pacific. If you aren’t staying at one of the 3 resorts, you would need to purchase the express tickets separately. Sometimes it is better to stay at one of the 3 resorts as it is less expensive than adding the unlimited express to your tickets. It is worth asking your agents to price that option out for you.

I was also interested in the Portofino Bay because they offer club level accommodations. Over the years we have become accustomed to Club Level and find a real value in it, especially breakfast. This club level lounge offered hot items like eggs, breakfast potatoes, bacon and sausage. There was also a breakfast burrito section and oatmeal. Along with the hot items there were cold items of fruit and cheese, yogurt and cereal. Beverages of all sorts – coffee, teas, sodas, juices and water. All of which we took advantage of after check in. Our room was not ready, but we had arrived at 9am. After breakfast we went to the hotel ticket desk to pick up our prepaid package tickets and checked out a little of the hotel on the way to the boat that takes you to Universal, Islands of Adventure, and City Walk.

I head read that Steven Spielberg contributed to the hotel design as a consultant. He loved Portofino Italy and used that as inspiration for the resort hotel. You did have the feeling of waking through an upscale Italian town with outdoor cafes and beautiful courtyards. The short walk to the boat was scenic and enjoyable.

f-26-14-13617076_HxGyuGiP_port_1We enjoyed the parks for several hours when we received a text to pick our room key. It was a very spacious room with an enormous bathroom with a double sink, large soaking tub and oversized shower. Toiletries included shampoo, conditioner, shower cap, several soaps, Q-tips, and cotton balls. There were 2 queen beds a large sitting table with 4 chairs, an oversized soft chair with an ottoman perfect for reading. Our view was beautiful of the quiet pool which was completely empty.

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We decided to head over to the sandy pool. This pool was amazing. There was a sandy area with beach ball and swim noodles and sand toys for all to use. There was a hut with towels, cucumber and orange water for a quick cool complimentary drink. There was even complimentary sunscreen. We grabbed a few towels and explored through grottos and a slide and waterfalls. I would plan to spend several hours at this pool next time we come. You can also order pool side food service and Cabanas for rent, as well, which had chaises and refrigerator, TV and fan and fruit platter.

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We ordered room service dinner/snacks one evening. The cheeseburgers, cheese sticks, bacon, and potatoes.   The food was good but allow for 40-60 minutes for it to arrive. The large table in the room was perfect for us to sit and eat in comfort.

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The next time we go to Universal Orlando I plan to have 4-5 days. I’d like to have at least a day or a day and a half to enjoy the hotel. With 3 parks, City Walk, and great resort pools, we needed a few more days to enjoy it all.

I’d love to help you plan your Universal or Disney destination vacation. Please contact me to get started on your fantastic adventure.

Tara Mulkerin Concierge Agent Wishes Family Travel
M – (412) 913-8652

 

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10-20-30 Deal from Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel Stay By: 9/30/2020

Posted by on 10:00 am in NON Disney Specials, Special Offers, WFT Specials | 0 comments

10-20-30 Deal from Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel Stay By: 9/30/2020

June 29, 2020

 

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10-20-30 Deal

All guests staying between June 15 and September 30, 2020 can reap the rewards of a long weekend stay at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. For a one-night stay, guests will receive 10 percent off the rack rate. A two-night stay equals a 20 percent savings and three or more nights will result in a 30 percent discount.*

  • Stay one night, receive a 10%discount with promo code
  • Stay two nights, receive a 20%discount with promo code STAY2.
  • Stay three nights, receive a 30%discount with promo code STAY3.

All rates are per room for one or two people and you must input the promo code when making your reservation!

 

Terms & Conditions
*Valid for bookings made with stays between June 15 and September 30, 2020. Advance reservations required and discount must be applied at the time of reservation. May not be combined with other offers. Blackout dates may apply. Promotional quotes and reservations are subject to availability, pricing, and other restrictions at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply and are subject to change without notice.

For more information, contact your Wishes Family Travel Agent!
info@wishesfamilytravel.com
864-649-1016

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Cruise Ships Equipped For Health

Posted by on 7:00 am in Cruises, Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

Cruise Ships Equipped For Health

June 29, 2020
By: CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association)

Cruise lines go to great lengths to support the health and wellness of all onboard. From cleaning practices to passenger screening and public health inspections, cruise lines work vigorously to keep passengers and crew healthy.

Cruise Ships Equipped for Health Infograph

Ensuring Health at Sea

Sanitation

Crewmembers regularly clean and sanitize the ship’s facilities, including:

  • Cabins cleaned at least once daily;
  • Restaurants and snack areas cleaned regularly; and
  • Common areas such as pools and elevators cleaned throughout the day.

At the end of every cruise, crewmembers clean the ship from top to bottom using designated cleaning supplies and sanitation procedures.

 

Screening

Pre-boarding health screenings help identify ill passengers or crewmembers prior to boarding. The most common health screening protocol is a health questionnaire. Passengers indicate if they or their traveling companions have had any recent symptoms of illness. Passengers and crewmembers who may be ill are assessed by medical staff before they interact with other guests.

Medical Facilities

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Line Members collaborated with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to develop and implement guidelines on cruise ship medical facilities. These guidelines, which are mandatory for CLIA oceangoing Cruise Line Members, specify that cruise ships must have at least one qualified medical professional available 24/7 for medical bay visits or cabin “house calls.” Also, cruise ships must have an examination room, an intensive care room and equipment for processing labs, monitoring vital signs and administering medications. Patients requiring more comprehensive facilities or treatment are typically referred to a shore side medical facility.

Inspected for Health

Passenger and crewmember health is protected by a robust system of oversight and enforcement. Public health authorities worldwide inspect cruise ships and enforce health requirements. Cruise ships calling on U.S. ports, for example, receive at least two unannounced health inspections every year. In addition, cruise ships undergo three or more formal internal public health inspections each year.

Crewmember Training

Onboard staff must be trained in first aid and public health practices. No matter their job onboard, crew must be trained in safety and first aid procedures, such as emergency procedures, signals and alarms; evacuation procedures; and fire prevention and fire safety.

Originally posted by CLIA: https://cruising.org/about-the-industry/policy-priorities/Public%20Health%20and%20Medical

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10 Luxury Dude Ranches for Your Next Vacation

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

June 28, 2020

10 Luxury Dude Ranches for Your Next Vacation
Luxury Dude Ranches

Are you looking for a fun and entertaining vacation, but also want a relaxing and luxurious getaway at the same time? Luxury dude ranches are the vacation you have been searching for! These ranches offer a great atmosphere of adventure and relaxation all at the same time. Want to bring the kids along? Most luxury dude ranches have a great kid’s programs where the children can interact with other children their age and make memories to last a lifetime while the adults can also have their alone time to relax. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum and prefer an adult-only getaway, it’s best to book in the shoulder seasons or during a specialty week. Whatever experience you’re looking for; these DRA approved luxury dude ranches will fit the bill of a fantastic vacation for the whole family.
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Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort – Solvang, California

Located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country is a 10,000-acre, working cattle ranch and full-service resort: The Alisal Guest Ranch. The rows of sycamores along the ranch driveway welcome you into your warm and inviting cabin. After a satisfying breakfast, go for a trail ride through the stunning rolling hills where you’ll pass cows grazing in the fields or play a round of golf on one of the two 18-hole courses on the property. The spa and pool will be waiting for you once you return to the ranch in the afternoon. Finish your day off by enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail in the bar and one of the best dinners you will ever have!

C Lazy Guest Ranch prides itself on its personalized 5-star service, professional horsemanship programs, first-class amenities, enriching children’s programs, gourmet dining, and luxury accommodations (as they should!). Nestled in the heart of Colorado’s notorious Rocky Mountains, they offer the picturesque luxury ranch experience that people dream of. As a year-round ranch, they are the perfect destination for both summer and winter getaways offering limitless activities from cross-country skiing to Orvis endorsed fly-fishing. Whether you’re looking for a family adventure or a romantic getaway, C Lazy U will be sure to impress!

Red Reflet Guest Ranch is the definition of luxury. Guest’s chalets include a full kitchen, hot tub, and steam showers. Spend your day working cattle, fishing on private streams, and exploring the 25,000-acre property on an ATV. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you will be one of the few people to experience Red Reflet’s gourmet dining — many of the kitchen’s ingredients come straight from the ranch’s butcher shop, organic greenhouse and gardens! Don’t miss out on the exclusive cooking classes offered by the ranch’s 5-star chef so you can recreate these delectable meals at home!

Do you want a working ranch experience with world-class luxuries? Hubbard’s Six Quarter Circle Ranch in Montana may be the place for you. Guests actively participate in ranch work, whether it’s pushing cattle to higher greener pastures, throwing salt, or fixing fence. But don’t worry, it’s not all work; many people brag about Hubbard’s famed massages that you won’t want to miss out on! And after a long day of work, every cowboy and cowgirl deserves a good beer in the bar while a juicy filet mignon steak with all the trimmings is prepared in the kitchen.

Want to escape somewhere warm and sunny this year? Let Rancho de los Caballeros spoil you with their upscale amenities and endless activities on your next Arizona getaway. This ranch is the ideal Southwest retreat with 20,000-acres of open range to explore by horseback and a full spa and salon to enjoy after a long morning in the sun. Adventure through the desert by ATV, tee off on the 18-hole championship golf course (while the “mini ranchers” play at the Kids Club), or spend a much-needed day doing nothing by the heated pool, preferably with a margarita in hand!

You may not get much more luxurious than The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley. Just a short ride up the mountain from the ever-famous Broadmoor sits the beautiful Ranch at Emerald Valley, a distinct western experience. This ranch is certainly in the high-end rustic retreat category. So, if you are in search of an extremely highly-rated luxury dude ranch for a romantic getaway or family vacation, don’t miss this ranch. Here, you can experience a variety of high-class activities along with a full-service spa. Your vacation here will be the perfect mix of western charm and a top-quality resort. An abundance of activities and great memories await you and your chosen travel partners at The Broadmoor’s Ranch at Emerald Valley.

Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole are known for their extravagance. Placed between these two locations and equally as magnificent is Lost Creek Ranch. Offering open-air massages with views of the Tetons, the spa at Lost Creek is one that will surely put your city’s spa to shame. Float the infamous Snake River, hike and horseback ride in the Tetons, or take a tour of Yellowstone — all once-in-a-lifetime experiences you won’t want to miss out on! At the end of the day, settle down in your own cozy, log cabin where you will drift to sleep in the comforts of home listening to the cool mountain breeze or crackling fireplace.

Lone Mountain Ranch sits at the base of the mountains in Big Sky, Montana just north of Yellowstone. The ranch welcomes families of all ages to join in on their western way of life. The Lone Mountain dining options will surely impress you with their high-quality Rocky Mountain cuisine including Kobe beef, elk, and vegetarian selections. Experience a long refreshing hike into the surrounding Gallatin Mountains, a horseback ride up to the mountain tops and gaze over the stunning canyons, or take advantage of their guided canoe trips. Whatever your definition of relaxation and rejuvenation may be, the luxury of Lone Mountain Ranch will help you escape reality and help you to truly enjoy your vacation and time away.

Can you imagine a place more luxurious than a vacation with a natural hot spring right on site? The 4UR Ranch in Colorado is home to two historical natural hot springs that supply the warm water for their hot tub and other pools. The ranch was constructed around these natural wonders to make sure no damage was made and to preserve history. The healing waters provide serene relaxation and many people believe the waters are a natural healer. The ranch has much more to offer than just their top-notch spa; they have horseback rides, incredible cuisine for all ages, great fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more! Take a wonderful family vacation this year and have luxury meet you at the door at the 4UR Ranch.

Luxury Dude Ranches

Mountain Sky Guest Ranch – Emigrant, Montana

Located 30 miles from Yellowstone National Park, is Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, a prime luxury dude ranch destination for both families and couples. There is something for everyone to do here. Whether you are an avid horseback rider, enjoy fly-fishing or archery, want to play a round of golf at the on-site golf course, or spend an incredible day in Yellowstone, you will not run out of activities on this vacation! Their truly impressive kids’ program will ensure that kids of all ages also enjoy the vacation of a lifetime. You won’t worry about a thing while at Mountain Sky; book the trip, pack your bags, and prepare yourself for a vacation filled with excitement, relaxation, and memories no one will soon forget!

Luxury Dude Ranches

Originally Posted: https://duderanch.org/blog/2020/06/12/10-luxury-dude-ranches-next-vacation
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Attractions and Entertainment Details for Phased Reopening of Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Posted by on 7:00 am in Thoughts and Opinions | 0 comments

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6/27/2020

by , Manager of Communications, Walt Disney World Public Affairs

As we look forward to the reopening of Walt Disney World Resort theme parks in July, we’re excited to share a few details about the attractions and entertainment guests will be able to experience when they return. Though these may look a little different than in the past, there will be plenty of magic for everyone to enjoy when Magic Kingdom Park and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park open on July 11, and EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios open on July 15.

Young guests on Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Magic Kingdom Park

Most attractions will be available at each park – for example, live your adventure at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with attractions like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. At Magic Kingdom Park, classics such as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are waiting to welcome guests with thrilling adventures for the whole family. Time travelers, take note that the iconic Spaceship Earth attraction at EPCOT will also continue to be available in its current state while we pause on its planned refurbishment, along with other favorite attractions like Soarin’ Around the World, Frozen Ever After and Test Track presented by Chevrolet. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the magic of nature awaits with Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain and Avatar Flight of Passage.

If you’re hoping to see some familiar friends or take in the tunes of treasured performers, you’re in luck! Just as you may have seen recently at Disney Springs, our characters will appear in new and different ways that bring a smile to your face while also being mindful of physical distancing. From special cavalcades down the Magic Kingdom Park parade route and friends sailing the waterways of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, to processions along the World Showcase promenade at EPCOT and motorcades on Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Hollywood Boulevard, each area will come to life throughout the day. You never know when a party of your pals may come by, so be prepared for plenty of surprises!

For example, after rocketing through space in Tomorrowland you might see that famous Space Ranger, Buzz Lightyear; or discover a captive Captain Jack Sparrow as you traverse the Castillo del Morro on your way to Pirates of the Caribbean. You could cross paths with Queen Anna and Elsa as they venture “into the unknown” on a journey around World Showcase at EPCOT or spy members of the Resistance hiding out from the First Order throughout Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu.

'Goofy Cavalcade' rendering

Looking beyond our beloved characters, several musical groups will also return. You can look forward to seeing Main Street Philharmonic at Magic Kingdom Park, plus the Mariachi Cobre and everyone’s favorite funky drumming crew the JAMMitors at EPCOT, just to name a few.

Read here for details on how to make a theme park reservation; and also check out important “Know Before You Go” information at DisneyWorld.com/Updates. We hope to see you back at the parks, making special memories in new ways.

Originally posted: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2020/06/attractions-and-entertainment-details-for-phased-reopening-of-walt-disney-world-theme-parks/

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