Allee Sangiolo

A Boston native and Washington, DC, resident, Allee has been growing her bucket list since she began working as an Interactive Producer for TravelChannel.com. When not playing with her Frenchie named Pearl, Allee can be found inputting destinations into Kayak.com in the hopes of finding a deal on a flight to visit friends or family -- she’s lucky enough to have couches to crash on in Boston, New Orleans, Miami, New York and more. No matter how far she goes or what incredible trips she takes, her favorite place on Earth will always be a little island off the coast of Massachusetts: Nantucket.

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Posts by Allee Sangiolo

By Bill Burke

The ongoing expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has taken a few noticeable steps forward in the past few days.

A massive statue of “Beauty and the Beast” villain Gaston has arrived on-site, and is now being put in place in the midst of the as-yet unfinished Belle’s Village section of Fantasyland Forest. Gaston, who will take his place in a fountain, joins the Be Our Guest restaurant (a new quick service by day/table service by night restaurant set in Beast’s Castle,) Gaston’s Tavern (actually a misnomer, because the Magic Kingdom is a dry park) and Bonjour Gifts.

Here are the latest projected dates for the largest, most expensive expansion in Magic Kingdom history:

- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid is a dark ride bringing guests below the waves to join scenes from the classic Disney film. Disney projects this attraction will open by the holidays in 2012.

- Enchanted Tales with Belle where guests will be transported by a magical mirror into an immersive storytelling experience is expected to open by the holidays.

- The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a coaster using a first-of-its-kind ride system where the attractions’ mine cars swing back and forth through a curving, plunging diamond mine, will open in 2014.

- Princess Fairytale Hall – Say goodbye to the Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction, and say hello to Tiana, Cinderella, et al. Meet Disney’s royalty in the Castle Courtyard right in the center of Fantasyland. A castle entrance of stone, stained glass windows and princess portraits will lend this meet-and-greet area a noble atmosphere. Expect to get your princess hugs by late 2013.

Already open in the ongoing project are the Great Goofini’s Barnstormer coaster, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station, the Fantasyland Train Station and now 2 Dumbo the Flying Elephant attractions. As one whirls through the sky clockwise, its twin takes guests on a counter-clockwise journey. The queue area for the newest Dumbo attraction is inside, awash in glorious air conditioning and featuring a play area for kids to cavort in. Parents are given a pager, which alerts them when its time to get back in line.

Also this week, guests have discovered that Disney has quietly opened free Wi-Fi access throughout the Magic Kingdom. Agree to Disney’s terms-of-service and you’re on your way. Speeds and connection have been reported as spotty, as is cellular service in the park. The Wi-Fi is expected to play a role in Disney’s NextGen system, designed to take advantage of technology to better customize and enhance guest experience.

Disney rolled out free Wi-Fi throughout its resorts earlier this summer.


Meet Marianela Pereyra – the host of our new web series, Marianela’s Top 10 California Beaches. Over the next few weeks, she’ll be blogging about each of her favorite beaches in the Golden State. Stay tuned for her insider tips, and check out our gallery of behind-the-scenes photos from the shoot to learn more. 

By Marianela Pereyra

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the daughter of 2 professional tango dancers, and I was introduced to the world of travel at the tender age of 3 months. This is where it all started for me, making the backstage of many theaters my home and the backyard of many countries my playground. It’s no secret that I continue to be a traveling nomad. READ MORE

It’s that time of year again! Summer music festival season is in full swing, and festivalgoers are flooding the streets of Chicago for one of the most highly-anticipated concerts of the year: Lollapalooza. Some of this year’s headliners include the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine and Passion Pit … but that’s just the start. If you attend the show, make sure you don’t accidentally miss one of the bands you wanted to see — create a custom schedule online. READ MORE

In honor of our brand-new Destination: Wedding feature, this week’s Where in the World is a gorgeous boutique hotel in the Caribbean — a perfect place to say your “I Do’s.” But where is it? Leave your guess in the comments and then find out »

David Beckham’s surprise (and very bad-ass) appearance in Friday’s torch-lighting ceremony still has us ogling over photos of Britain’s most famous athlete and watching this awesome video over, and over (and over) again … along with 3 million other people: READ MORE

This week’s Haunted Destination of the Week is the Tower of London. Find out why »

Photograph by Thinkstock

By Mommy Points

I didn’t realistically consider attending the 2012 Olympic Games in London until June of this year. I am normally the type of person who plans big trips like this way in advance, so taking this trip on the spur of the moment was out of character for me. However, it was actually surprisingly simple to plan this exciting last-minute trip to the Olympics — without breaking the bank.

By now, anyone who could get to the Olympics is already there. But the following tips are just as handy for your next big trip. READ MORE

The stifling heat this summer has me dreaming about the ocean breezes on a tiny island 30 miles out to sea. A place where no one spends much time indoors, where cobblestone streets weave through town, where protected land — nearly 50% of the entire island! — reigns supreme, and where you may just find yourself with a warm stretch of beach all to yourself.

My version of paradise is Nantucket, MA — the “Faraway Island.” Packed within this island of 105 square miles, you’ll find a place where days can be spent lazing on a quiet beach, afternoons can be enjoyed shopping for one-of-a-kind items at tiny boutiques and evenings savored with dining experiences at world-class restaurants. As you walk around Nantucket, you may even hear people refer to mainland USA as “America” — as if you’re in another country altogether.

Hungry for a taste? Here are 8 ways to truly savor the very best that this much-beloved (and very wealthy) island has to offer:

READ MORE

Lace up your dancin’ shoes and head down to the National Mall tomorrow from 1-4 p.m. for National Dance Day. Is the idea of bustin’ a move in front of the Washington Monument not enough to get you there? What if we told you there’d be appearances by So You Think You Can Dance celebrity guests? And Redskins cheerleaders? Yeah, we thought so. If you’re nowhere near Washington, DC, there are also a few other celebrations going on nationwide. Check out the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s upcoming events to find one near you!

This sulfuric crater is part of an 8,884-foot-high active volcano – one of the few accessible active volcanoes in the (hint!!) Americas. But where in the world is it? Venture a guess in the comments, and then find out »

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