This week, Walt Disney World officially opened the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom. New Fantasyland is an extension of regular Fantasyland (home of classic Disney rides and many, many strollers). When guests enter the Enchanted Forest, they arrive at Maurice’s Cottage — a cozy stone and shingle structure that houses Enchanted Tales With Belle. Here, a “tale as old as time” is told with the help of an impressively lifelike Lumiere, Belle herself and a few volunteers from the audience.
Just through the grove of shady trees and past the gurgling stream is a bridge that leads to the new Be Our Guest Restaurant, which is set inside Beast’s castle. The castle itself is an imposing structure situated in the nearby mountains – which are a testament to Disney’s Imagineers and their skill with forced perspective! By day, Be Our Guest is a quick-service lunch spot, while by night it transforms into a table-service dinner restaurant. Around the corner is Gaston’s Tavern — just look for the statue of the “Beauty and the Beast” villain. Here you can try a meaty pork shank, a gooey cinnamon roll or sip on some of LaFou’s Brew — a sweet concoction of frozen apple juice and toasted marshmallow topped with mango foam.
The Storybook Circus section of New Fantasyland hosts the Barnstormer roller coaster, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station, and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. There are now 2 of these soaring spinners, and time waiting for your flight into the big blue yonder can now be passed inside an air-conditioned circus tent. Parents are issued a pager that lets them know when it’s time to climb on board.
While these new additions are cause for celebration, the gem of New Fantasyland remains behind construction walls. The Seven Dwarves Mine Train — an innovative new coaster — is scheduled to open sometime next year. Sidle up to the walls and hear the clinking and clanging of the Dwarves hard at work on this new attraction.
- Bill Burke
Bill Burke is an award-winning humor columnist and writer with 20 years experience in the newspaper and magazine industry. He is the author ofMousejunkies (Travelers’ Tales 2009) and Mousejunkies: Second Edition (Travelers’ Tales 2011) –a humorous look at Walt Disney World addiction.
The world can breathe a collective sigh of relief: A royal baby is on the way. Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, are expecting their first child after 19 months of marriage (and intense media scrutiny).
With today’s royal revelation, the world is abuzz with speculation: Will it be a future king or a future queen? What will the baby’s name and title be?
By Troy Petenbrink
Photography by Troy Petenbrink
With the recent release of HBO’s The Girl and the current success of Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson, there has been renewed interest in one of the world’s most well-known (and somewhat creepy) movie directors.
Alfred Hitchcock fans — new and old — will be happy to know that many of the settings from his movies are still around and accessible.
I actually imagined myself as Melanie Daniels (played back in the day by Tippi Hedren) during a recent visit to Potter School House near the California coastal town of Bodega Bay. (Luckily, unlike Tippi, I was not attacked by a flock of crazed crows.) The school and the town featured prominently in The Birds. The school is now privately owned and closed to the public but is perfect for pictures. READ MORE
The days may be growing shorter, but one thing got longer this past month. Mustaches, and lots of them. Mustaches popped up all over the world in November — with some of the best sported by celebrities from Kris Jenner to David Beckham — for Mustache November. Known simply as Movember, this annual movement calls on men worldwide to grow out their facial hair in solidarity against prostate cancer and other men’s health issues. What began in Australia as a campaign to raise awareness of these issues has now grown to become a worldwide cultural phenomenon.
Movember in London
As Thanksgiving approaches and we gear up for the busiest travel day of the year, we can’t help but think about all those who will not get to enjoy a plate of turkey and stuffing in the comfort of their own home. Many are still displaced because of damage from Hurricane Sandy and are in need of help. If you’re planning on eating out this week, make your reservation through our partners at CityEats, enter the promo code “RECOVERY” and CityEats will donate $10 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund. Learn more about CityEats’ support of Sandy recovery on their blog.
Need some ideas for where to dine? Check out CityEats’ top 10 New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia restaurants, and be sure to get a look at the new restaurant listings in New Orleans and Phoenix.
If you’re not in the mood to stand in line with a bunch of Twihards tonight to see Breaking Dawn: Part II, escape to the evocative world of 19th-century Russia in Anna Karenina, which also opens this weekend. Though some would be horrified that we are putting the 2 films in the same sentence, there are some similarities between the 2 stories: both are based on love affairs with the forbidden; one between a vampire and a human, the other between a married socialite and a young cavalry officer. And both are set in romantic, but equally dark settings — rainy Pacific Northwest and snow-covered Russia. And both make us want to travel.
St. Basil’s Cathedral Photography by Getty Images
This cinematic take on Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel, Anna Karenina — the story of a married St. Petersburg socialite embarking on a passionate and disastrous love affair — is a visual masterpiece, already garnering Oscar buzz. As with all film adaptions, this version takes creative liberties and scenes are set on a theater stage, showing very little of Russia or its famous landmarks. Being the travel junkies we are, it’s inspiring us to embark on our own Russian adventure.
Yesterday, we asked our fans to tell us: If your candidate loses the election — what will your #ElectionEscape be? It seems as though — regardless of party affiliation — by Election Day, all of our fans had a SERIOUS case of election fatigue, because we got quite the outpouring of tweets, Instagrams and pins. Check out some of our favorite #ElectionEscape Instagrams! READ MORE
Let’s face it. On Election Day, (or whenever they are done counting the votes) only one thing is certain: One candidate is going to lose. Which is exactly why it’s so important to vote! But if, when all is said and done, you’re part of the unlucky 50-ish percent of the country — whether you’re on Team Red or Team Blue — you might want to get away. If you could travel anywhere, where would your #ElectionEscape be? Leave your pick in the comments below, or tweet it with the hashtag #ElectionEscape — we’ll feature our favorites tomorrow!
And, for a real shot at an #ElectionEscape, be sure to sign up for JetBlue’s Election Protection.
Host of Travel Channel’s Paranormal Paparazzi, Aaron Sagers shares his first-hand account of Hurricane Sandy‘s devastating hit on New York City.
Zombies come to mind. When the lights went out and the world seemed to shut down, as it did in my neighborhood near the East River in lower Manhattan, I automatically began thinking about the dozens of zombie flicks I grew up watching. But The Walking Dead this is not; instead, the source of my troubles is a Frankenstorm named Sandy.
Travel Channel’s Paranormal Paparazzi host, Aaron Sagers braves Hurricane Sandy in New York City.
We’re creeping closer to Election Day and tensions between the parties are rising. Obviously, everyone is wondering the same thing – do Democrats or Republicans travel more?
Well, worry not! We have the answer! And a pretty infographic to go with it …