As in most service-based industries, the odd questions and statements we hear from our wide variety of clients can be at times…flabbergasting. That being said, I have also come to learn that people don’t know what they don’t know and it is my job to help answer any and all questions. There are a few things though that come up regularly enough that I feel compelled to address them here. When these fairly common travel misconceptions come up for the 12th time this month, they have me saying to myself, “I don’t understand what you don’t understand.” But again, people don’t know what they don’t know, so here’s my attempt to help to shed some light on some of the most common travel misconceptions we hear from guests on a regular basis. Enjoy!
“One day I’ll be able to afford it.”
We hear people make some form of this statement ALL. THE. TIME. And it breaks my heart. Can’t we just let ourselves dream a little? When someone says, “One day I’ll be able to afford it,” it almost sounds like dreaming, and one may even argue it implies there is a dream down the road. But to me, it feels like there is a negative connotation attached to your dream. To me, it’s like people are saying only IF & WHEN you can afford it, will you start to seriously consider it. Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we attach negativity to our dreams? In the meantime, there is a big, beautiful world out there just waiting to be explored. Maybe right now you can’t afford your ultimate dream trip of two-weeks travelling around Europe or the all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean with the over-water bungalow, but what can you do? Can you find happiness where you are right now while making plans for the future? I believe we ALL can. Maybe you can only afford one night at a hotel in a neighboring town. Will you look down your nose at that experience, or will you take the opportunities you can and let yourself just enjoy life? Stop letting your vacation days go to waste while you wait for your big monetary break! Use those vacation days and go as far as the budget will take you. I PROMISE you won’t regret it. It will give you something to look forward to & actually DO while you save up for that grand vacation you’ve always dreamed of. It’s not settling, it’s enjoying life as it is right now. You have plenty of options, but will you take them?
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I realize finances are often THE determining factor in whether or not someone can take a vacation. If you’ve been following my blog the last several months, you know I strongly advocate for having a set budget for vacation before you start planning. I stand by that 100%. However, as outlined in my blog “Plan in Advance, Pay Over Time,” you’ll see that many places allow you make reservations 12-18 months in advance and pay over time. If you know beforehand what you anticipate to be able to save during that time, you can make plans & pay as you go. Additionally, travel agents are trained specifically to help you have a great vacation at any budget (see “Why Use a Travel Agent”). You may even find you can get further than you thought if you do plan in advance & use an agent. There are MANY great options for vacation at any budget. Are there constraints on the amenities you might receive based on your budget? Sure. But having a good time & making memories is possible regardless of how much money you spend, or where you go, so stop saying “One day…” and start making plans today. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try.
“I could never go on a cruise – I’m afraid of water.”
No kidding, I’ve heard this at least six times this year from different people at different times. To all of you I say, “Hence the boat.” Now I don’t want to minimize anyone’s fears. I understand there are those that are legitimately afraid of water. Nor do I want to minimize that some people get motion sickness and would not do well on a boat. That is absolutely true, but most of the people who say they’re afraid of water, don’t have motion sickness bad enough that a patch or Dramamine wouldn’t do the trick. That being the case, do you realize you can go on a cruise & NEVER touch the water? Normally when I bring this up, those I’m speaking with will say, “But what if you sink? The Titanic sank.” Yes, but that was over 100 years ago when safety protocols were severely lacking and they didn’t have the state-of-the-art equipment on board like they do now. Ships now are tracking the weather, other boats in the area, and a hundred other factors 24-hours a day. According to the interwebs, your odds of dying on a cruise are 1 in 6.25 MILLION. You’re much more likely to die in a car where your odds are 1 in 645. The safety procedures on cruise ships are remarkable. They are literally floating cities with populations greater than most towns in rural America. PLUS! Everything is right there waiting for you. Accommodations, food, entertainment. You can literally do as much or as little as you want. It is one of my favorite ways to travel & in my opinion, if you’re not trying something that is well-known to be awesome because you’re “afraid of water,” then you’re missing out on a great opportunity. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try.
“I hate camping.”
I firmly believe that if you say you hate camping, you’re doing it wrong. “But when I was a teenager, I went to summer camp & had to sleep on the ground & it rained & the other girls made fun of me. It was miserable!” Yep. I know. That happened to lots of people. That’s also not what real camping is like. You don’t have to sleep on the ground, you prepare for the weather, and hopefully, you’re traveling with people you actually like. Camping is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes it just feels good to be independent, to be outside, to witness the beauties of the earth, to truly see the stars & to wake up with the sun. Camping can take many forms. I tent camp all the time and love it, but we also trailer-camp quite often and love that too. Plenty of people camp in RVs and if you do that, you have a bed, a bathroom & a kitchen that you take along with you. Camping can be a very comfortable experience if you know what you’re doing. I realize this one paragraph will likely not be enough to convince most people, so to you I say, just give it another try. Talk to someone who loves it BEFORE you go to get tips on how to make the most of it. Most travel agents don’t know how to help with camping, but some do, including me. I’d be happy to help you however I can. Trust me. There are just some experiences that can’t be had from a hotel room. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try.
“My friend told me…”
Can we agree that ALL of us are guilty of reading a headline & assuming the truth of it without actually reading the article or doing our own research & then we tell someone else what we “read?” We all do it, it’s no secret. However, it perpetuates A LOT of problems in the world, including the travel industry. It’s come to the point though, where we are constantly putting out fires in people’s minds about one thing or another due to what their friend told them, or the headline they saw that said blah, blah, blah. Here’s my best advice. If you want to know the status of what is going on in the industry, go to the source directly. If Disney, or a cruise line, or a hotel chain has a big announcement, they will make it themselves. The rumor mill won’t. Until media publications are quoting directly from the source, take it with a grain of salt. If you still have questions, call your travel agent. We receive updates on the industry DAILY. If we don’t know the answer to your questions or concerns, we will find out. Do us a favor though? Don’t panic when you hear news until you can confirm it came from the source. Stay calm & take the rumor mill for what it is.
If you’ve found yourself saying any of the above, you’re not alone. But hopefully I’ve given you some ideas on how to address the things you say. There are a lot of great options for people of all types & circumstances & we don’t have to let our pre-conceived notions dictate our reality. You won’t know what’s waiting for you until you try. If you need help, we are always here. Check out our website to request a quote: http://woodbreyfamilytravel.com/getaquote.php
Like so many others, I remember exactly what I was doing when I first heard about the attacks of September 11, 2001. I was in ninth grade & heard my older brothers talking about some kind of plane crash as I got ready for school. At that point, it wasn’t clear what was actually happening & I remember one of them saying they thought it was an accident. I went to school not realizing how serious the situation was. When I got there, they had all the TVs in the school turned on. As I hung out with my friends before school started, I remember standing in the common area, all staring at the TV that hung there watching the towers smoke & finally realizing how serious of a situation it was. It was during my first period English class that we watched live as the first tower fell. I remember how quiet it was as we all sat there in shock & my teacher quietly walked over to the TV and turned it off before we had the chance to watch anything else. We then spent the rest of the day, wandering from class to class, our poor teachers trying to help us stay calm & understand. Of course, I came home & as a family we tried to understand it as well, along with the rest of the country & world. I cried many times that day & in the following weeks. I’ve cried many times since when I think of the lives lost to the senseless act of terrorism. I feel it deep in my heart the importance of remembering what happened & the people we lost.
Consequently, when we had the chance to visit New York City many years later, we made it a priority to visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. For me, it felt like a token of respect. I could not in good conscious go to New York City & not visit. I felt the same way when I visited the island of Oahu. I felt compelled to visit Pearl Harbor for the same reason. There are just certain places that though they are the sites of tragedies, they have since been turned into beautiful memorials that we are then allowed to visit. Historic sites in general, whether they be memorials, battlefields, burial grounds, churches, etc., can be some of the best places to visit as a traveler. The history of the world is held in those special places & I believe it is a good & important thing for all of us to visit, learn, show our respect & remember. So how do we do that?
Since we often visit these places of importance while on vacation, it’s easy to let the levity of being on vacation overshadow the fact that we are often, walking on sacred ground. Below you’ll find a few tips for how to enjoy your experience at these important places, but also show respect to the events that happened there.
First, talk about where you’re going in advance. Whether you’re traveling as a family & have kids, or you’re doing a getaway with adult friends, I would encourage you to talk with everyone about these important sites before you go there. Talk about where you are going & why it is important. Everyone has a different perspective & understanding of the world & just because I may understand the importance of a site, that doesn’t mean the people I’m traveling with do. Or maybe none of us understand why a site is important, but we know everyone visits there for some reason. Do some basic research & talk about what happened at these sites before you get there. This allows everyone to put a site in context & in my opinion, you’ll then arrive with a sense of respect that will help everyone govern their behavior in a positive & respectful way.
Second, be respectful of posted placards. This may seem obvious, but there have been many times I’ve visited a memorial & even though there is a sign that says, “Please stay off the memorial,” some kid is being allowed to play on it. Or we go into a church & they have it posted, “Please, no pictures,” and someone is going around taking pictures of everything. I saw this very thing happen when we were visiting Westminster Abbey in London. If you haven’t been there, it is a remarkable place with incredible historic value. Part of that comes from the fact that the church is basically a cemetery. There are hundreds of people buried in the floor & in the walls, so you are literally walking over the final resting place of many. They tell you multiple times as you move through the queue to enter that pictures are not allowed once inside. There are posted placards everywhere saying the same thing. Yet, every few minutes we would hear one of the people working there announce, “No pictures, please.” Or you’d see them approach someone and kindly ask them to put their camera away. Sometimes, it’s not about the next great Instagram photo you’re going to get. Sometimes it’s about appreciating where you are & showing the respect a place deserves. The bottom line is, we are guests in the places we visit & it is not for us to determine that our opinions or wants are above what the stewards of those places have deemed appropriate.
Lastly, though not required when visiting a site, I recommend using provided audio guides or at least reading available signage about a place. This allows you to slow down, take a breath and learn. Allow yourself some time to briefly dive into the specifics of what makes a place important. It’s not just a building or a statue or a relic. Important things happened in these places. People lived & often died in these places we now visit in our abundance as tourists. They have stories to tell if we will only listen. I have found that when I do this, I am often touched and the feelings I experience give me a greater appreciation for those that came before me & it solidifies in my memory the importance of a place. I firmly believe that everyone can feel the spirit & energy of a place by slowing down enough to learn & appreciate.
There are so many wonderful places in the world to visit. Some of the best have the hardest pieces of history attached to them. They are worth visiting & we should visit them. We need to be respectful though. At least understand the basics of why a place is important before you arrive so you can gauge your behavior in a respectful manner. Follow posted placards. Remember, you are a guest and if the stewards of a place ask that you do something, it is your responsibility to do it. Finally, learn all you can. It is our duty to remember the past so we do not repeat it. I firmly believe travel is one of the best educators, but it is only through our respect of the places we visit that history can be heard.
There is something thrilling about dropping everything for a few days and escaping. Sometimes spontaneous trips are the best trips. As with everything though, these last-minute adventures typically come at a cost. Now I know what some of you are thinking. “But sometimes you can get great last-minute deals!” That’s true & last-minute deals can be fantastic, but more often than not, there will be some aspect of your trip that will be more expensive because you waited until the last minute. For example, maybe you got a super cheap cruise last minute, but then your airfare was super expensive. Or maybe you got a great deal on airfare, but hotels are limited due to the short notice, so their prices are higher. Plus, everything has to be paid for upfront. When you wait to book last minute, you have to be prepared to pay for everything at once. Most people’s budgets need a bit more advance notice to be able to accommodate a trip. Fortunately, quite a few aspects of the travel industry allow for payment to be made over time.
As outlined in our blog post, “Help Us, Help You,” the first thing anyone should do before making travel plans is to decide on a budget. I feel this is true for any kind of trip, whether it be spontaneous or planned well in advance. The world is amazing, but you’ll enjoy it more if you don’t have a mountain of debt to come home to. Budgeting & planning in advance can give you the flexibility to save up & pay for your trip over time so you don’t accrue unnecessary debt due to your travels.
Once you have determined your budget, I recommend working with a Travel Agent to help plan your trip. This is for a few reasons (see our blog post “Why Use a Travel Agent”), but a few of the most notable reasons is their ability to help you stay within your budget & to bundle the various pieces to your travel together into a package. Though not the only way to pay for a trip over time, having your travel agent put together a package for you will often give you more flexibility in terms of when you can pay.
For example, let’s say you’re traveling to the Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resort. If you were to buy a hotel or condo off Disney property & bought your theme park tickets separately, you would have to pay outright for those theme park tickets and maybe your lodgings too. If you haven’t been to a Disney park recently, tickets are a large bulk of the cost for that type of vacation and if you buy them separately, they have to be paid in full up-front & they are non-refundable. However, if you plan in advance & bundle your package to include both hotel & tickets on property or at a Good Neighbor hotel, then you could simply pay $200 down when you book & then the rest isn’t due until 30 days before you travel. Up until that 30-days before, you can change or cancel your reservation at no cost to you. This allows you much more freedom than if you purchased them separately. Additionally, as a package you are more than welcome to make partial payments over time, or if you’d rather keep your money accruing in the bank, you can wait until that due date 30 days before to make your final payment. This allows you significantly more time to save your money & spread out the cost of your vacation over several months.
Much like stand-alone tickets, airfare is also notorious for having to be paid for up-front & it is most often non-refundable. If you plan your trip in advance, it allows for large required purchases like airfare to not be such a burden. Maybe you’ve booked your hotel/tickets a year in advance, and have been saving up or making payments over time, but you wait to purchase airfare until three or four months in advance of your trip. Being able to spread out the payments for the other aspects of your package allow you to be able to pay for that airfare when it comes up without any budgetary constraints.
What you may not realize is that occasionally, your travel agent can package your airfare in with other aspects of your trip. This means that your airfare would follow the same rules as your package does. For example, if you were to book a Disney Cruise, you would be required to put 20% down up front & final payment is due 90-120 days before you travel. If you chose to book airfare as a package with your cruise & you select a flexible fare, that airfare gets bundled into your cruise package price as a whole. You would simply pay the 20% of the package price & then pay the remainder when final payment is due or in partial payments over time. Again, allowing for better budgeting in advance.
Besides being able to spread out paying for your trip, booking in advance will most often get you the best deal. There are last-minute deals that are worthwhile, but as previously mentioned, you’ll typically get hit with a larger than average bill in some other aspect of your trip. In general, the longer you wait to book, the more you will pay. For example, Disney is notorious for increasing their ticket prices in either late January or early February every year, but sometimes they do it multiple times per year. If you plan in advance, your ticket prices, or cruise fare, or nightly hotel price, gets locked in, ultimately saving you money than if you waited to book your trip last minute. Plus! If you use a travel agent & a deal does come up, they can often get it applied to your existing reservation. Just one more reason to use them!
Overall, making a budget, planning in advance, & taking advantage of what a travel agent can offer can really help you to spread the cost of you trip out over time. This can make a big difference to your everyday finances so that your trip really is a vacation & not a means to more debt. If you’re feeling unsure, ask your travel agent for help! They want to make sure you stay within your budget & have the best time possible. Paying over time can alleviate a lot of stress on you & your budget, so recognize it is an option. Plan in advance & take advantage!
We would be happy to help you along your way. Please visit our website to request a quote: http://woodbreyfamilytravel.com/getaquote.php
We are less than one month away from the debut of the highly anticipated film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” – and the return of the Star Wars Galactic Nights event to Disney’s Hollywood Studios®.
First up – Wicket. Wald. Willow. Wollivan. Warwick Davis has long been part of the Lucasfilm family and beloved by Star Wars fans since his career-starting performance as Wicket the Ewok in “Return of the Jedi.” An established film and television actor, Davis is known for other Lucasfilm roles in “Ewoks: Battle for Endor” and “Caravan of Courage,” and for portraying the title character in “Willow.” He returned to the galaxy far, far away for the prequels as well, with several roles in “The Phantom Menace.” He recently played Wollivan in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and will appear in this year’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and 2018’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
Actor David Collins will also appear at the event to host a special “Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” panel discussion with members of the Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm team. The panel, which will include Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering; Robin Reardon, Executive Creative Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering; Chris Beatty, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering and Doug Chiang, VP/Creative Director at Lucasfilm, will give guests an inside look at the making of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland® Park. Attendees will also get an exclusive peek into the progress being made and learn what it’s like to bring the epic saga to life in the theme parks.
Guests can’t miss Star Wars: Galactic Destinations on the Sunset Boulevard area of the park. Through state-of-the-art projections, the facade of the Hollywood Tower Hotel will transform to showcase stunning locations from across the galaxy. Favorite film moments, special effects, lighting, and of course the stellar Star Wars cinematic score supports each galactic location moment all evening long.
Star Wars Galactic Nights will also be a great opportunity for guests to celebrate the release of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi at different park attractions, such as the Star Wars Launch Bay, Star Wars: Path of the Jedi and “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” which will debut new touches inspired by the film that night.
Previously announced event offerings include: The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show, which will both be enhanced with special elements from the entire saga; park-wide photo ops, including three new backdrops inspired by Star WarsRebels, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge; encounters with Star Warscharacters; specialty food and beverage and merchandise, and much more. Guests are also welcome to dress in their favorite Star Wars attire – please be sure to check our costuming guidelines. Attendees can also enjoy little-to-no wait-times at some of the park’s most iconic attractions.
Park access and activities will be exclusive to Star Wars: Galactic Nights ticket holders. Event hours on Dec. 16 are 7 p.m.-midnight. Tickets are priced at $129 adults, $124 ages 3-9.
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Summer 2018 will bring a transformed land for guests to experience at Disney California Adventure® Park when Pixar Pier opens along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, with newly themed attractions, entertainment, foods and merchandise throughout. This new, permanent land in the area that is now Paradise Pier will introduce four new neighborhoods representing beloved Disney·Pixar stories.
The first of the four themed neighborhoods guests will find is inspired by “The Incredibles.” Here, the new Incredicoaster, permanently transformed from the attraction that is now California Screamin’, will open with Pixar Pier in summer 2018. This new experience will feature a mid-century-modern-style loading area, new character moments and a new look for the ride vehicles. To prepare for this transformation, California Screamin’ will close Jan. 8, 2018.
The popular Toy Story Mania! will anchor the “Toy Story”-inspired neighborhood. A neighborhood inspired by “Inside Out” will be found on the western side of the boardwalk and will welcome a new family-friendly attraction, scheduled to open at a later date.
The fourth neighborhood will be a celebration of many favorite Pixar stories. In this neighborhood, Mickey’s Fun Wheel will have a new look, with each of the 24 gondolas featuring different Pixar characters and the iconic face of Mickey Mouse remaining on the Paradise Bay side of the wheel. At the Games of the Boardwalk, which already includes the Bullseye Stallion Stampede game, all of the midway games will be inspired by Pixar characters. Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts will close Jan. 8, 2018 to begin this transformation.
Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a new lounge and grill offering sparkling views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier. Both locations will close Jan. 8, 2018, with Cove Bar reopening briefly in April before closing again for its permanent transformation. Guests wishing to reserve “World of Color” dining packages after Jan. 7, 2018, may consider Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria.
The remaining areas of the land that is now Paradise Pier, including Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumpin’ Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, will become a new land called Paradise Park.
Pixar Pier will open during the limited-time Pixar Fest celebration, which begins April 13, 2018. The celebration will include the new “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular” fireworks spectacular as well as the return of Pixar Play Parade and “Paint the Night” parade, and much more throughout the entire Disneyland® Resort.
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We are having our Fifth Annual Spooktacular Halloween Costume Contest! Share your fun and exciting Halloween costumes on the Woodbrey Family Travel Facebook page and be entered to win FREE Disney gifts! There will be multiple winners so be sure share the contest with all of your friends and family members.
The contest will end November 2nd and the winners will be announced the following week. You can enter multiple pictures and the costumes do not have to be Disney-themed to qualify. Please make sure to “Like” the page to be considered.
We can’t wait to see all of your fun costumes!
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When Toy Story Land opens in Summer 2018 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®, guests will shrink to the size of a toy and explore all of the fun (and toys!) Andy has constructed in his backyard. This story continues at Woody’s Lunch Box, where Andy has used his lunch box and thermos to create a walk-up quick-service window that will serve up tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats. In the rendering above, you can see that Woody’s Lunch Box – like the rest of Toy Story Land – has been adorably strewn about with some of Andy’s favorite toys and items from his lunch. Guests can even spot a green army man on a nearby lookout tower, keeping watch for Andy’s return.
The Walt Disney World® Resort will partner with Mini Babybel to bring this location to life. Stay tuned for more information on Woody’s Lunch Box – and the menu of delicious items it will serve up – in the coming months.
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Disney Cruise Line Expands San Diego Season and Returns to Popular Tropical Ports from Both Coasts in Early 2019.
In early 2019, Disney Cruise Line will return to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including an expanded two-month season from San Diego to the sun-drenched Baja and Mexican Riviera. A host of options to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida ports, plus cruises to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico, take Disney Cruise Line Guests to visit timeless tropical locales and experience endless amounts of Disney magic.
From January to May, all cruises departing from Florida feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line Guests. The award-wining island is a pristine Bahamian oasis boasting clear turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, world-class recreation and signature Disney hospitality.
San Diego, California to Baja and Mexican Riviera
Disney Wonder returns to San Diego for an extended season from March to May 2019, with a variety of two to seven-night cruises to Mexico where Disney Cruise Line Guests can enjoy vibrant culture, stunning beaches, exciting water activities, cliff diving and zip-lining through the jungle.
San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Southern Caribbean
In January, three special Disney Wonder cruises from San Juan sail to the Southern Caribbean, visiting tropical destinations renowned for beautiful sun-kissed beaches and warm azure waters. On these six- and seven-night sailings, Disney Cruise Line Guests can dive into charming island cultures, sunbathe on golden beaches and revel in local marketplaces.
Port Canaveral, Florida to The Bahamas and Caribbean
With three Disney ships in port and cruise lengths spanning three, four and seven nights, vacationers looking for a getaway in early 2019 have a full menu of options from Port Canaveral, near Orlando, Florida. Disney Fantasy continues to sail seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages. Disney Dream embarks on three- and four-night Bahamian cruises to Nassau and Castaway Cay, and Disney Wonder will alternate similar three- and four-night itineraries throughout February.
Miami to Bahamas and Western Caribbean
To kick off 2019, Disney Magic continues sailing from Miami with four- and five-night voyages to the Bahamas, plus five-night Western Caribbean cruises. The magical shores of Castaway Cay await Guests aboard every one of these Disney Magic sailings. Other ports of call on the Bahamian voyages include Nassau and Key West, Florida, while a stop in Grand Cayman or Cozumel headlines the Western Caribbean itineraries.
Bookings open via phone for Platinum Castaway Club members on October 30, 2017, Gold Castaway Club members on October 31, 2017, Silver Castaway Club members on November 1, 2017 and to all Guests via phone and online on November 2, 2017.
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Disneyland has some exciting news to share with everyone about continuing expansion and growth of the Disneyland® Resort. For the first time in almost two decades, Disneyland will open a new Four Diamond hotel! Set to open in 2021, this hotel will transform the west end of the Downtown Disney® District and anchor a new gateway to the Disneyland Resort.
The stunning 700-room hotel will feature a sophisticated design and be a game-changer for Anaheim, creating a dynamic dining, entertainment and hotel experience for resort visitors and local residents. Extensive landscaping and water elements will create a resort oasis, showcasing nature on every level of the hotel. The hotel’s location embraces the iconic Disneyland Monorail with a dedicated platform inside the hotel for direct transport into Disneyland Park.
Guest rooms, public spaces and gardens will provide views of the Downtown Disney District. In addition, an upper-level restaurant and lounge will give guests a view of the popular Disneyland Park fireworks.
The ground level of the hotel will include shops and restaurants opening onto an expansive landscaped plaza complete with playful water features, creating a gathering place for guests and visitors. The new hotel also connects all four Hotels of the Disneyland Resort through lush gardens and beautifully landscaped walkways, transforming the gateway on the west side and creating a welcoming entry for guests.
Construction is scheduled to start in summer 2018, with a grand opening slated for 2021.
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As part of the multi-year expansion of the Disneyland® Resort, Disney is upgrading, improving and adding new parking and transportation enhancements that have been long envisioned for the resort. The centerpiece of this plan is an all-new parking structure to be built on the current Pinocchio surface parking lot next to Mickey & Friends.
This new 6,500-space structure is designed to dramatically improve parking and traffic flow throughout the resort. It is expected to significantly speed up guest arrival by providing a 60 percent increase in the number of access lanes and adding additional parking capacity on the west side of the resort.
The additional parking capacity and access lanes will streamline vehicle arrivals on the west side of the resort and eliminate backups onto city streets. In addition, the tram boarding area will be reconfigured to enhance the transportation experience for guests parking at both the new structure and Mickey & Friends.
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