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5 Cities for a Quick Fall Getaway

While social calendars tend to fill back up during the fall months between work, school and extracurricular activities, autumn also offers some perks for travelers looking to sneak in one last getaway before cold weather sets in.

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(Family Features) While social calendars tend to fill back up during the fall months between work, school and extracurricular activities, autumn also offers some perks for travelers looking to sneak in one last getaway before cold weather sets in.

Often referred to as “shoulder season” between the summer and winter travel windows, fall offers a perfect opportunity to find smaller crowds, lower prices and cooler temperatures in many popular vacation destinations.

An app like Hotels.com, which makes it easy to unlock instant savings and get rewarded for your hotel stays, offers travel inspiration and top cities for your fall getaway.

Los Angeles: Hollywood is acclaimed for its entertainment and theaters, and the famous Hollywood Roosevelt is where vintage glamour meets modern luxury, right on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You can catch a concert at the theater or go bowling on-site, plus it’s within walking distance of Melrose Avenue, the Hollywood and Highland Center, TCL Chinese Theatre and Dolby Theater.

Las Vegas: Centrally located on the Strip, the world renowned ARIA Resort and Casino is known for its casino, nightclub, 13 restaurants and social pool scene. Guests can visit the spa to be pampered with deep-tissue massages, body wraps or facials. Just a short walk to public transportation, it’s also close to many of Sin City’s other attractions such as T-Mobile Arena, Allegiant Stadium, Mandalay Bay Casino, The Cosmopolitan Casino and the Bellagio, among others.

New York City: In the heart of Manhattan with sights like Times Square, Broadway, the Empire State Building and world-class shopping and restaurants all within a 10-minute walk, the 5-star Refinery Hotel is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Pet- and family-friendly, it also features a rooftop bar and on-site restaurant Parker and Quinn, which specializes in American cuisine, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Chicago: Explore locals-approved joints and shops and catch a train to downtown attractions from the hip Wicker Park neighborhood. With all the amenities of home, including free continental breakfast, a garden, premium bedding, soundproof rooms and more, the boutique bed and breakfast Wicker Park Innis less than five miles from popular attractions like Water Tower Place, the John Hancock Center, Skydeck Ledge, Wrigley Field, Millennium Park and the Willis Tower.

Miami: Located on a private beach, the 5-star luxury Nobu Hotel in Miami Beach is a full-blown retreat with four pools and two on-site restaurants plus the full-service Esencia Wellness Spa, which is equipped with a sauna, spa tub and steam room, offering facials and a variety of massages and therapy treatments. It’s also close to shopping at the Lincoln Road Mall and Bal Harbour Shops plus attractions like the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.


SOURCE:
Hotels.com

amusement and theme parks

Disneyland Resort Celebrates Disney100 with Grand Opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, New Nighttime Spectaculars, ‘Magic Happens’ Parade and More

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  • Dazzling celebration honors 100th anniversary of The Walt Disney Company with décor, food and beverages, merchandise and more
  • New entertainment and attractions debut Jan. 27: Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, ‘World of Color – ONE’ and ‘Wondrous Journeys’ nighttime spectaculars and platinum décor
  • Coming later in 2023: ‘Magic Happens’ parade returns, reimagined Mickey’s Toontown reopens and new hotel developments debut

ANAHEIM, Calif., Jan. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/– The Walt Disney Company marks its 100th anniversary in 2023, and the Disneyland Resort will celebrate the milestone with new experiences and entertainment, décor, specialty treats and more throughout the year, beginning Jan. 27, 2023. Disney100 celebrates Disney storytellers, creators and fans around the world who, together, spark the magic and wonder of Disney. This celebration will bring new experiences with beloved Disney characters along with heartwarming new stories to delight guests and audiences around the globe.

While Disney Parks around the world will commemorate the 100th anniversary, the heart of the celebration is rooted at the Disneyland Resort. The festivities at The Happiest Place on Earth begin on Jan. 27 with the grand opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the debut of all-new nighttime spectaculars by Disney Live Entertainment: “World of Color – ONE” and “Wondrous Journeys.” More magic will arrive throughout 2023, including the return of the “Magic Happens” parade on Feb. 24, reopening of Mickey’s Toontown on March 8 and new developments at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort coming later this year. Disneyland Resort cast members will be among the first to experience select offerings with special #DisneyCastLife opportunities.

“We are excited to bring this milestone celebration to life right here at The Happiest Place on Earth,” said Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock. “For generations of families and fans around the world who have made Disney a part of their lives, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy all-new experiences with beloved Disney characters, our caring cast and our amazing storytelling throughout the year.”

New attractions and entertainment celebrate Disney stories

All-new experiences debuting on Jan. 27 immerse guests in beloved Disney stories and draw inspiration from the history of The Walt Disney Company.

The all-new, family-friendly attraction Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway makes its Disneyland Park debut. Inside the El CapiTOON Theater in Mickey’s Toontown, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway transports guests into the wacky and unpredictable cartoon world of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, where they board a train engineered by Goofy and embark on a zany, out-of-control adventure with surprising twists and turns.

To experience Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, guests will be required to join the complimentary virtual queue*, which is accessible only via the Disneyland app.** Upon its grand opening, there will not be a standby line for this attraction. The virtual queue enrollment times will be twice daily, at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m. PT. More information on the virtual queue system is available at Disneyland.com. Guests may also get quicker entry to this attraction with the purchase of an individual Lightning Lane arrival window, subject to availability.

“World of Color – ONE” at Disney California Adventure Park celebrates the storytelling legacy started by Walt Disney a century ago, illustrating how a single action, like a drop of water, creates a ripple that can grow into a wave of change. Featuring a new original song, “Start a Wave,” this new nighttime spectacular brings some of the most courageous, loving and inspiring characters to life in new ways. This is the first Disneyland Resort nighttime spectacular to feature characters, music and moments from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, the Avengers and Star Wars in the same production.

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Guests will be able to access viewing areas for “World of Color – ONE” through the virtual queue* system available only via the Disneyland app. Distribution for the complimentary virtual queue will begin at noon, daily, subject to availability. More information is available at Disneyland.com. If the virtual queue reaches capacity, guests can check in with a cast member at the Paradise Bay viewing area shortly before “World of Color – ONE” begins for walk-up viewing options. Joining the virtual queue is not required, but it is highly recommended as walk-up viewing options for each performance are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Wondrous Journeys” at Disneyland Park features nods to every Walt Disney Animation Studios film over the last century and a new song, “It’s Wondrous.” Filled with artistry, music, storytelling and heart, the nighttime spectacular builds upon the park’s state-of-the-art projection effects to turn Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the Rivers of America into an artist’s canvas. On select nights, “Wondrous Journeys” goes even bigger with the addition of sparkling fireworks.

MagicBand+ builds another dimension of storytelling to “World of Color – ONE” and “Wondrous Journeys,” with dancing lights and vibrations synchronized to both spectaculars.

A new exhibit, The Disney Gallery Presents: Disney 100 Years of Wonder, will be on display at Disneyland Park. Inspired by Walt’s vision for Disneyland to be where his films come to life in the real world, the exhibit pays tribute to Disney films that became Disneyland Resort attractions, park experiences that later inspired Disney films and the rich traditions they both share. Guests will see artwork created by original Disney animators for some of Walt’s early films, alongside artwork concepted by original Disney Imagineers to recreate those stories in the park – in addition to an animator’s desk, a model of a multi-plane camera and more.

Disney100 offerings at The Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney District and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will be adorned in platinum-infused décor – including platinum statues and medallions scattered across the resort. Later in 2023, MagicBand+ will interact with and add more dazzle to select décor.

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Walt Disney’s original Sleeping Beauty Castle will be dressed in elegant platinum banners and bunting, accented by a magnificent cabochon, two majestic water fountains in the surrounding moat and a wishing star shining on the tower above. At Disneyland Park, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their pals will don new, sparkling outfits designed to reflect the optimism and creativity that are at the heart of everything Disney.

Guests can savor a century of magic through more than a dozen specialty food and beverage items, such as the platinum trifle and old-fashioned cream soda, and novelties like the Disney100 Mickey Mouse sipper and platinum Mickey Mouse balloon bucket.

Disney fans can also bring the magic home with commemorative Disney100 merchandise and collectibles released throughout the year, including the Disney100 Platinum Celebration Collection, special MagicBand+ designs, collectible medallions and pressed pennies.

The Disney100 celebration extends to the Downtown Disney District with platinum décor, fun photo opportunities and special menu items at select dining locations.

More magic to come in 2023

The “Magic Happens” parade makes its highly anticipated return to Disneyland Park on Feb. 24. Led by Mickey Mouse and his pals, the daytime spectacular celebrates moments of magic from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios films as they are brought to life with grand-scale floats, artistic costumes and an energetic musical score.

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Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be joined by additional new experiences and returning favorites when the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown reopens on March 8, 2023. The beloved land will feature more play activities and attractions than ever before, in addition to grassy play spaces for guests of all ages to unwind. Interactive play areas such as CenTOONial Park, Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard and Donald’s Duck Pond create more opportunities for families and young children to play together inside Disneyland Park, and guests will be able to enjoy classics like Mickey’s House, Minnie’s House and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin once again.

In the spring, guests are invited to experience seasonal offerings and returning fan-favorite events at the Disneyland Resort. Disney California Adventure Park is ringing in the Year of the Rabbit with the Lunar New Year celebration through Feb. 15, and the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival returns March 3 through April 25.

Alongside the Disney100 anniversary celebration, the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort will debut new developments later this year. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel will become Pixar Place Hotel, which weaves the artistry of Pixar into a comfortable, contemporary setting. The Villas at Disneyland Hotel – a new, 344-room tower – will immerse guests in decades of animated classics through a blend of contemporary designs and timeless artworks inspired by Disney Legends. 

SOURCE Disneyland

https://stmdailynews.com/category/entertainment/

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amusement and theme parks

Splash Mountain at Disneyland is Closing… What’s next?

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As Splash Mountain closes, it will undergo a transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a whimsical attraction inspired by The Princess and the Frog.

Splash Mountain at Disneyland By Cd637 at English Wikipedia, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58648866

Splash Mountain is a log ride at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. It was formerly located in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom before closing in January 2023. The ride is based on the animated sequences of the 1946 Disney film Song of the South. Although there are variations in the story and features between the two locations, each installation begins with a peaceful outdoor float-through that leads to indoor dark ride segments, with a climactic steep drop into a “briar patch” followed by an indoor finale. The drop is 52.5 feet.

In June 2020, it was announced that the U.S. versions of the ride would be receiving a new theme based on Disney‘s 2009 film The Princess and the Frog. The new ride, which will be titled Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, is scheduled to open at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in late 2024. The Magic Kingdom version of Splash Mountain closed on January 23, 2023. The closing date for the Disneyland version has yet to be announced. (wikipedia)

Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splash_Mountain

https://ktla.com/news/california/when-will-disneylands-splash-mountain-close-for-good-theme-park-bloggers-weigh-in/

https://disneyland.disney.go.com/attractions/disneyland/splash-mountain/

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Experiencing the UFO Experience

There’s a new venue that just debuted at the Arizona Boardwalk, “The UFO Experience: The Truth is Out There.”

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Rebeca and I recently paid a visit to a new exhibit in the valley…

Scottsdale, Arizona – Tuesday, December 13, 2022/ There’s a new venue that just debuted at the Arizona Boardwalk, “The UFO Experience: The Truth is Out There.” The museum is family-friendly with an immersive and interactive multi-room exhibit that focuses on the phenomenon historically and a peak inside how it has impacted pop-culture.

The UFO Experience replaces “The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” after its closing back in September of this year.

Rebecca and I found that the museum was fun, entertaining, educational, and yes, it was immersive, it also has a “Walk on the Moon,” bouncy house for the kids. “And Rebecca was informed that the bouncy house was for the kids…”

The self guided tour from the start was full of interactive displays, including a headphone station where you can listen to actual 911 calls from citizens and radio conversations between pilots and air traffic control regarding UFO sightings.

The exhibit covers the UFO topic from Ancient aliens, to modern sightings, abductions and has a historical timeline of the topic of aliens in cinema. There’s also a ton of UFO history in the gallery items and a few familiar aliens you’ll encounter during the tour.

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The UFO Experience is for the believer, interested but not yet committed, and the skeptic alike. They give you a score sheet and tokens before entering to gauge if the exhibit had change your opinions either way, which you’ll express by the end of the tour.

The museum is the eighth attraction at the boardwalk joining Odysea Aquarium, Land of the Dinosaurs, and Butterfly Wonderland.

It’s hours of operations: 10am – 6pm everyday.

Located at Arizona Boardwalk
9500 E. Via de Ventura, Suite E250
Scottsdale, AZ 85256

Parking is free…

Links:

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https://www.citysuntimes.com/things_to_do/ufo-experience-at-arizona-boardwalk-opens-dec-13/article_6043d736-78c8-11ed-90ac-8b8039b756e4.html

https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/the-ufo-experience-at-arizona-boardwalk-in-scottsdale-asks-are-we-alone-15161358


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  • Splash Mountain at Disneyland is Closing… What’s next?
    As Splash Mountain closes, it will undergo a transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a whimsical attraction inspired by The Princess and the Frog. Splash Mountain is a log ride at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. It was formerly located in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom before closing in January 2023. The ride is based on the animated sequences of the 1946 Disney film Song of the South. Although […]
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