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Tag-Archive for "Amusement Parks"

Romantic Getaways at Disney’s Hollywood Studios May 25

If you are a couple who loves the movies, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a great place for a romantic getaway.

Once you walk in the park, you think you are inside a movie studio. The streets are designed to look like a movie set and there are actors riding up and down the streets putting on vaudeville type acts.

For those of you who enjoy old movies, you will enjoy the Great Movie Ride. If you are interested in movie making and how special effects are done there are several choices. The Studio Back lot tour starts with a moviemaking show where the audience gets to be the actors and then you hop on a tram to see how special effects are made. The Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular is a great show to see how stunts are done and the audience gets a chance to get in this one as well. There are movie sets that you can walk through that change with the current movies. If you are interested, there are spectacular sound effects and car stunt shows for your enjoyment.

If you are a big fan of Disney movies, there are some good options for you as well. There is a nice tribute to Walt Disney and also a show on how to do Disney animation. I thought one of the neat things in the animation exhibit is the booth where you get to match your personality with a famous Disney character. Another cool thing is that Hollywood Studios is filled with your favorite animated characters. Meeting and taking a picture with these characters will make you feel like a kid again which is something that my wife and I really look forward to when we plan our romantic getaways.

If you like amusement parks as well as the movies, there are a bunch of movie themed rides to choose from. Star Tours is a fun motion ride for Star Wars fans. Muppet Vision 3-D is a funny show put on by your favorite Muppets. Toy Story Mania is a fun ride for those who like the old style carnival games. For roller coaster fans, the Rock N Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith is an incredibly fast roller coaster with tremendous acceleration and inversions to the driving beat of your Aerosmith favorites. Finally, the Tower of Terror is a fun an exciting ride for fans of the old Twilight Zone TV show and who like experiencing the sensation of free falling.

Finally, you should plan to visit a couple of the shows to complete your romantic getaway. If you enjoy American Idol, there is a show that allows you to experience what it would be like to be at an Idol show. If possible, you should go to the last show of the day so that you can see the best contestants of the day. The Beauty and the Beast show is an abbreviated version of the movie or Broadway show that occurs several times a day and is very entertaining. You should definitely plan to see Fantasmic during your visit. This is a spectacular fireworks and water show featuring your favorite Disney characters. The show is filled with music from your favorite Disney movies and amazing laser light and hydrotechnic effects. The show occurs only at night and is not shown every night, so make sure that you check the show schedule so that you can plan to visit the park on a night when Fantasmic plays.

If you are a fan of movies, Disney animation, and amusement park rides, you should look to visit Disney’s Hollywood Studios for your next romantic getaway.

Romantic Getaways in the Animal Kingdom May 11

Disney World has always been one of our favorite places for a romantic getaway. We like how it makes us feel young and keeps our love fresh. Since we always like to travel to zoos for a romantic getaway we were really excited when Disney created Animal Kingdom because it is a combination of the two.

When you first walk into the park, you walk through an area filled with birds and smaller animals. Then you come upon the tree of life which is a site unto itself due to its size and craftsmanship. It is a great place to take pictures in front of. In the base of the tree of life, there is a great little show called It’s Tough to Be a Bug. It is pretty funny and entertaining.

Our favorite ride in the park is the Kilamanjaro Safari which is located in the Africa section of the park. This is a great ride that is a combination of a ride and a zoo. You get in a jeep and travel throughout the African Savannah where you see Giraffes, Antelopes, Rhinos, Hippos, Elephants, and Lions among other things. At the end of the ride, you can take a walk along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail which is a lot more like a zoo and features animals typically found in Africa.

In the Asia section of the park, you can find the Maharajah Jungle Trek which is a lot like the Pangani trail except it features animals found in Asia. Also in Asia, you will find Expedition Everest which is great for you roller coaster lovers. It seems innocuous to start, like you are going on a train ride up the mountain but then it goes a little haywire but it’s a whole lot of fun.

In the DinoLand U.S.A. section of the park, we enjoy the Dinosaur ride which is based on the movie. It is not really a roller coaster in the normal sense but it does have some twists, turns, and drops while you are surrounded by animated dinosaurs.

We also enjoy the shows at Animal Kingdom. There is a Flights of Wonder show near Asia which is a showcase for birds of prey if you like birds. There is a Finding Nemo stage show that is located between Asia and Dinoland. If you are a fan of the movie, you will probably enjoy the show. Our favorite show is the Festival of the Lion King which is located in Camp Minnie Mickey. We have seen the show numerous times and have even seen The Lion King on Broadway and we still truly enjoy this show. It truly is not to be missed.

There aren’t many great places to eat in the park, but a short trip to the Animal Kingdom Lodge gives you some dining options. The lodge itself is decorated beautifully and is complete with its own version of the African Savannah complete with Giraffes, Zebras, and Antelope. We have always wanted to stay here but I will tell you that it is not cheap. As far as food goes, they have a decent cafeteria type restaurant for lunch and the Jiko and Boma restaurants inside the lodge feature African themed cuisine.

Disney World is a great place for a romantic getaway and the Animal Kingdom is a park that you shouldn’t miss spending with that special someone.

Romantic Getaways in San Diego – Animal Parks Mar 16

My wife and I find romance in many different places. There is a lot to be said for going away to someplace very private and intimate but we also find that places that make you feel young can also be romantic. It is a lot of fun to walk around with your sweetheart and hold hands and experience again the things that you enjoyed when you were young. One of the places that we truly enjoy going to experience this “return to our youth” are zoos or animal parks and we tend to look for those any place that we visit. There probably is no place in the United States that has the quality and variety of animal parks as the San Diego area.

The most well known of the animal parks in the San Diego Area is probably the San Diego Zoo. It has been at the forefront of the zoo experience and breeding capabilities for almost 100 years. There are over 4000 animals at the zoo and the habitats housing these wondrous animals contribute to a very engaging experience. The zoo was the first to use barless, moated enclosures that allow you to view these animals in environments closer to their natural environment. There are animals of all kinds from all over the world including some very rare species. Most people have their favorite animals and you can be assured that your favorite is here somewhere and you will probably find some new interesting ones along the way.

What once started out as a breeding facility for the San Diego Zoo, the Wild Animal Park (about 34 miles North of San Diego outside of Escondido) is favored by some people over the Zoo. There are over 3500 animals and 430 species in the park. The interesting thing about this park is its openness. Animals run together in large areas and it is common to see giraffes interacting with zebras and antelopes (don’t worry, they don’t mix “meat-eaters” with “plant eaters” here) much as they would in Africa. There is an open-air tram ride called “Journey to Africa” which brings you a little closer to the animals. If you want to spend a little more, you can take the “Savanna Safari” to take you even closer and to some places the tram doesn’t cover. If you want to get really close, you can go on a Photo Caravan to visit parts of the park that no one else gets to see but you need reservations. There are also several self-guided walking tours in the park that lets you visit various animals in interesting habitats.

For those of you that love marine life, San Diego has a Sea World. The highlight of Sea World is its shows. The have a show featuring Shamu, the Killer Whale, which is enlightening and inspiring. They also have a nighttime version with lights and rock music called Shamu Rocks. My wife and I enjoy the Clyde & Seamore’s Risky Rescue show which features sea lions and otters which is really funny. There is also a Dolphin Discovery show for those of you who love dolphins.   Additionally, there are exhibits featuring beluga whales, polar bears, penguins, sharks, and manatees which allow you to learn about these animals while you watch them up close. There are new shows and exhibits being added all the time so check your program or the website when you go. For those of you who enjoy amusement parks, you can take a break from the animal watching and take your sweetheart on a rollercoaster, down a lazy river, or in a simulated helicopter ride.

You may be wondering how being in a crowded zoo could be romantic but you can always create your own intimate space wherever you are. I really enjoy “sneaking up” on my sweetheart while she is watching the animals. I come up behind her, put my arms around her, and whisper “I love you” in her ear and give her a kiss on the cheek. She usually returns the favor with a quick kiss. We tend to do this all day and take turns “sneaking up” on one another. At the end of the day, we usually will talk about the enjoyment we had watching the animals and the kids in the parks, but we also talk about who had the best sneaky kiss of the day. Although you may not think of it at first, I encourage you to think of the San Diego Animal Parks or your local zoo for your next romantic getaway.