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Save Hundreds On Your Next Disneyland Trip With These Simple Tricks

It’s no secret that Disneyland is known as the happiest place on Earth, and for good reason! Thrilling rides and dazzling shows, immersive experiences and endless amounts of unbelievably delicious food. Everything you need for a fantastic vacation all in one place. All of these magical amenities come at a price, however, and quite a […]

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It’s no secret that Disneyland is known as the happiest place on Earth, and for good reason! Thrilling rides and dazzling shows, immersive experiences and endless amounts of unbelievably delicious food. Everything you need for a fantastic vacation all in one place. All of these magical amenities come at a price, however, and quite a steep one at that.

Tickets alone will run you over $100 a piece and on top of that, there are other things to account for like travel, lodging, food, and of course souvenirs. All these expenses adding up can really put a damper on your budget. 

Luckily for you, We’ve put together a list of tricks for saving money and getting the most out of your vacation!

 

1. Pack Smart

Unexpected factors like variable weather conditions can cause unnecessary expenses during your trip. So make sure you check the forecast for your destination so you don’t end up overpaying for last minute necessities like sunscreen, sweatshirts, or umbrellas. If you’re planning on enjoying the water rides, grab a poncho from the dollar store instead of paying $15 for one at the park.

 

2. Make A DIY Autograph Book

One of the best things about Disneyland is meeting your favorite characters and getting their autograph. It’s just another one of the many layers that make up a truly magical experience. What’s not so magical, however, is paying for all those odds and ends like the little notebooks dubbed “Autograph Books” sold at many places throughout the park.

 

They’ll run you between $15 and $20 each. It may not seem like much but it’s the little things like this that start to drain your budget, especially if you have a large family. Luckily you can make your own for less than $5. Just grab a notebook or journal from the dollar store and customize it with some markers, stickers, and glitter.

 

3. Use Shuttle Services

If you’re starting to see a theme here then you might have guessed that parking at the Happiest Place on Earth might leave you feeling a little deflated. Standard parking will cost you $25 and if you’re looking to get a head start with a spot near the entrance you’ll be forking over $50.

 

If you’ll be staying in the Anaheim area you’re in luck! Anaheim Resort Transportation offers day passes with lines running to Disneyland and they only cost $5.50 for adults and $2 for kids. And don’t forget to check with your hotel’s concierge as many properties near the park offer complimentary shuttle services.

 

4. Bring Your Own Stroller/Wheelchair

If you’re traveling with really little ones, and especially if your vacation is going to span several days, you’ll definitely want to bring a stroller. Of course, Disney thought of that too! You can rent one of their strollers for $15 a day. The same goes for wheelchairs. The park offers manual wheelchair rentals for $12 with a $100 deposit.

So don’t forget to bring your own strollers and wheelchairs. Your wallet will thank you.

 

5. Pack Your Own Snacks

As with anything else the Magic Kingdom has to offer, the food inside the park, though delicious, is not cheap. An average meal will cost between $20 and $25. Not to mention the inevitable snacks along the way like popcorn, churros, and cotton candy.

 

Sure, delicious treats are part of the fun of a vacation but you can lighten some of the strain on your budget by bringing your own snacks and eating breakfast before you hit the park. Disneyland and Disney World both allow you to bring in outside food and beverages (with some limitations) and most hotels in the area offer complimentary breakfast. Otherwise, book a room with a fridge so you can pack some cereal and milk or other easily prepared meals.

 

6. Book During The Offseason & Pick Value Days

Let’s be honest, Disneyland is always full of people but you can plan your trip around the park’s busiest times to avoid massive crowds and endless lines. Save on everything from lodging to airfare by visiting between mid-January through mid-March, mid-April through mid-May, or mid-September through mid-November – avoiding Halloween, of course. 

You can save even more by booking well in advance and checking for “value days” on the park’s calendar. Picking these dates for your vacation will save you $45 per ticket.

 

7. Bring Your Kids Before They Turn 3

If you’ve been looking for an excuse to plan your trip early, we’ve got one for you. Children under three get into both Disney Parks absolutely free. That will save you a whopping $140 at Disneyland and $124 at Walt Disney World. You can use those savings for some sweet souvenirs, closer parking, an upgraded hotel room, or a better flight.

 

8. Pick Up An Annual Pass

If you’re a serious Disney fan you may want to consider investing in an annual pass. They will cost you a bit up front but they pay for themselves within just a handful of visits. An annual pass gives you admission to both parks at Disneyland and all four parks at Walt Disney World. Not to mention the other perks pass holders get like standard parking and 20% off select merchandise and dining. 

 

 


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Destinations

Traveling To Japan To Have A Sip Of Teacup Pig

We’ve seen cafes full of cats and guinea pigs… now the teacup pigs want to be a part of the fun.

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     Back in 1998, the world’s very first cat cafe – Cat Flower Garden – opened in Taipei (Taiwan). It was the ideal concept that allowed young city workers to unwind after a hectic day in the downtown office and for those who lived in nearby apartments that were unable to have pets of their own but sought companionship. Slowly but surely, the fascinating concept made its way to Japan where the idea instantly surged in popularity.

     As of 2015, there are over cat cafes in Tokyo alone. Since the advent of the cat cafe, several similar businesses have popped up since then, yoga with baby goats and a cafe with guinea pigs being just two. Even then, humans can also mingle with dogs, owls, and even hedgehogs while grabbing a bite to eat or while sipping their coffees. Nonetheless, the decision to bring the smaller, warm, and fuzzy friends closer to the people seems to be working out for everyone. Cats are adoptable, small businesses are gaining followers and patrons, and nearby locals are enjoying the benefits of the very temporary but very real “pet rental” business. As long as safe practices are put in place for customers and animals alike, this seems to be a perfect situation. 

 

Cu(t)e the Next Trend

     Yet another animal-focused cafe has recently opened up in Tokyo. This time, customers have the opportunity to have a cuddle with mini-pigs! A spokesperson for Mipig has mentioned that some of their pigs can actually fit into a teacup – thus real teacup pigs! The founders of the cafe explained, “We would like Japanese people to feel more familiar with the animal and eventually become a beloved member of the family.” While their invitation to adopt is legitimate, travelers should be aware that these are simply very young pigs. In other words, these pigs of no-specific breed, will eventually grow up and gain much weight. Still, until that growth spurt occurs, locals and visitors alike are absolutely enjoying the experience. One visitor mentioned to a CNN affiliate that “Their noses feel cool, but the bodies are so warm. How cute!” As we’ve personally not had any interaction with a pig (or mini-pig for that matter), we would be incredibly down to play around with several tiny piglets! 

No word on if you can feed them, people, food but we’re sure we can all partake in caring for these cute little guys.


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Destinations

The Cost Of Traveling To Seven Game Of Thrones Filming Locations

Game of Thrones may be ending after season 8 but let your adventure live on when you explore these seven supernatural filming locations.

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     As we all know, and as much as it may hurt to accept, we are in the midst of the last season of Game of Thrones. With only a few episodes left in “the world,” viewers will be seeking story and television alternatives to continue the adventure that began eight years ago on April 17th, 2011. But, what if we told you that you could keep the magic alive and travel steadfast on your own journey? Became an independent traveler and fighter as you make your way around the world to seven of the most iconic and scene filming locations from eight seasons of GOT excitement.

     Thanks to the iOS and Android travel app – Hopper – the realistic expenses to fly to some of the most accessible and iconic filming destinations are presented for your interest and convenience. The costs presented here are for flight expenses only, pulled from the average prices of round-trip tickets departing from U.S. airports. In addition to average prices, Hopper also provided the round-trip summer flights costs so that you can plan a vacation during the warmer months after the show finally concludes.

Therefore, let us begin.

 

Iceland

Roundtrip airfare to Reykjavik – $651

Summer roundtrip airfare to Reykjavik – $651

Upon entering Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, you’ll instantly begin reliving the “natural” landscapes shown “North of the Wall.” Iceland will also be home to the lava cave Jon & Ygritte expand their “relationship”, the scenes of the Wildling camp, and the Skogafoss Waterfall used on the premiere episode of season 8. 

Spain

Roundtrip airfare to Madrid – $714

Summer roundtrip airfare to Reykjavik – $833

Spain’s architecture and pedicured gardens have provided their show with several shooting options. The Royal Palace of Dorne was shot at the Real Alcazar while the meeting of Jon, Dani, and Cersei at the Dragonpit took place at the Roman site of Italica.

 

Scotland

Roundtrip airfare to Glasgow – $837

Summer roundtrip airfare to Glasgow – $1,006

About 34 miles north of Glasgow stands Doune Castle. Doune was the real-counterpart of Winterfell. The pilot episode of the show was shot here in which King Baratheon and accompaniment visit the Stark castle.

 

Morocco

Roundtrip airfare to Marrakech – $980

Summer roundtrip airfare to Marrakech – $1,106

If you would like to retrace Dani’s campaign march, you should plan on visiting Morocco. The slave-trade city of Yunkai was filmed at Ait-Ben-Haddou, a UNESCO world heritage site, while the Red City, Astapor, the home of the Unsullied, was shot at the port city of Essaouira. 

 

Croatia

Roundtrip airfare to Dubrovnik – $1,004

Summer roundtrip airfare to Dubrovnik – $1,198

The scenes from the King’s Landing were shot in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The city’s 13th-century walls are extensively used throughout the series. Tourists may also visit the Jesuit Staircase in which Ceresi was forced through her walk of shame in Season 5. The Fortress of Klis can be found in the city of Split. 

 

Northern Ireland

Roundtrip airfare to Belfast – $1,101

Summer roundtrip airfare to Belfast – $1,109

These woods should look incredibly familiar as they are home to the Starks and Night’s Watch. The journey to King’s Landing can be viewed by taking a stop at the Dark Hedges near Stranocum. CGI may be heavily used in the show but the Magheramorne Quarry is the stand-in for the Castle Black. In addition, Ballintoy Harbour is the real-life home to the Iron Fleet & House Greyjoy. 

 

Malta

Roundtrip airfare to Valletta – $1,207

Summer roundtrip airfare to Valletta – $1,224 

Malta’s capital of Valletta has the steps of the Lannisters and Dothraki in its history. Second (and third), St. Dominic’s Convent was used as the Red Keep Garden while Fort St. Angelo was also used as the Red Keep Prison. Lastly, the Mtahleb Cliffs were used as picturesque backdrops for the Dothraki camp scenes and Drogo’s funeral pyre. 


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Destinations

Traveling To Cuba Just Got Harder

In order to fight American dollars from empowering the Cuban regime, Trump’s security counsel has placed new restrictions on travel to the country.

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     Last week, the Trump administration placed further restrictions upon nonfamily travel to the Cuban country, a mere 100 miles from the tip of Florida. During a speech given to the veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion, the failed 1961 event that sought to overthrow Fidel Castro, Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, added that the new regulations were also placed upon the countries of Nicaragua and Venezuela. Alongside Cuba, Bolton has stated that these three countries are “the troika of tyranny.”

     During his speech, he mentioned “The Department of the Treasury will implement further regulatory changes to restrict nonfamily travel to Cuba… These new measures will help steer American’s dollars away from the Cuban regime.”

Background

     For many years, tensions between the US and Cuba did not allow for travel. From 1999 until 2003, the US government allowed “people-to-people” licenses. These licenses allowed Americans to travel to the country if the purpose was for a short list of reasons. Educational or religious needs were two of these. During his term, President George W. Bush’s administration then restricted those licenses.

     However, in an effort to thaw tensions between the countries, the Obama administration granted the American people even greater opportunities. Americans who were not even journalists or scholars were able to visit the country – given that it was with an officially licensed operator. Come March 2016, Americans were free to travel to the country as long as they interacted with the Cuban people during educational exchange activities.

     This policy included 12 approved categories: family visits, support of the Cuban people, educational/religious/journalistic activities, humanitarian projects, professional research or business, private foundation activities, research or education at institutes, public performances, competitions and exhibitions, official US government matters, foreign government/intergovernmental organizations, export transactions, and transmission of information.

 

Easy No More

     In recent years, the process to travel was quite simple. Direct flights to Cuba could be purchased at airlines like JetBlue, American, Southwest, and United. Travelers would then apply for a tourist card, a Visa, that was valid for 30 days and that could further be extended for an additional 30 days in Cuba.

     However, in 2017, the Trump administration canceled the people-to-people licenses. Visitors were only given permission to visit if they were part of an educational program. As of late, American tourists are now banned from government-owned shops and hotels as they are controlled directly by the government.

     The Treasury Department has stated that Americans who are caught violating these new guidelines could face an up to $250,000 and be jailed for 10 years. So far, these two punishments have not been doled out.

     With much dismay, we suggest you find some sort of educational program, and quick… if you had ever planned on visiting our southern island neighbor.


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