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Jul/Aug 2010 Issue

New hotel being planned for Walt Disney World

Disney is planning its 26th resort hotel for Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Disney’s Art of Animation will add nearly 2,000 rooms, including 1,120 family suites with a living room and bedroom. Rooms and suites will have themes from animated movies “The Lion King,” “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” and “The Little Mermaid.”

A 35-foot-tall sculpture of King Triton from “The Little Mermaid” will crown the resort. Other large icons from the animated films will be placed in the courtyard. The new resort hotel will be located next to Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and is expected to open by the end of 2012.

“This resort was designed with the needs of families in mind as we continue the Disney tradition of providing a great guest experience for every taste and budget,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice presidnt of Walt Disney Imagineering.

AAA members can purchase discounted Disney theme park tickets and vacation packages. Now through Aug. 14, buy a five-night/six-day AAA Vacations® package that includes accommodations at a moderate resort and a six-day Magic Your Way base ticket and receive the Disney dining plan free (excluding tips and alcohol). Your AAA Travel agent has the details. Find an office near you or call (888) 366-4222.

Triton statue

Disney Imagineer Joni Van Buren works on a model of King Triton, which, in its final form, will be 35 feet tall and tower over its newest resort hotel. ©Disney photo


Will falling euro equal travel deals this year?

For travelers considering a trip to Europe this year, the battered euro may translate into better bargains, especially in countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland, where economic troubles have helped to send the currency spiraling.

The continuing depreciation of the euro against the U.S. dollar hit a 12-year low on May 26 of $1.23. But so far, there has not been drastic price cuts by hotels or tour operators.

How can travelers save this year in Europe? Travel off-peak, with winter providing the best price breaks. Use princing leverage of tour companies to your benefit. Some will bundle airfare into the package.

For information on off-season European tours, including Italy from Nov. 5–13, contact AAA Travel at (888) 366-4222 or

foreign money


Passport clarification

All people, including children younger than 16, traveling by air outside the United States are required to present a passport book to enter or re-enter the country. Children can cross land or sea borders using only a U.S. birth certificate (original or certified copy). The U.S. Department of State has a $60 fee to issue a passport for children, and $25 is paid to the office–such as a U.S. post office–that accepts the application.

For more information, including applications, visit and click on the passport tab.



Carnival’s new ship is named

Carnival Breeze is the name for the line’s new 3,690-passenger cruise ship that is scheduled to enter service in spring 2012. It is the third in Carnival’s Dream class. Carnival Dream launched in 2009 and Carnival Magic, under construction in Italy, is due to debut next May.

Elements featured on the new ship include a large spa, expanded facilities for children and teens and an outdoor promenade. Carnival Breeze will be the 24th ship in the fleet. Home port and itinerary details were not available at press time.

In May, Carnival also launched new year-round service from Charleston, S.C. The Fantasy will operate five-, six-, and seven-day cruises to the Bahamas and Key West, Fla. Next year, a series of Bermuda cruises from Charleston will be available on the 2,056-passenger Fantasy.

Carnival added WaterWorks, a water play area with slides, sprays and more, an adult-only outdoor area called Serenity, and refurbished onboard suites to the Fantasy. The main pool area has also been redone to look more like a resort.

Charleston’s history dates to the 17th century, and while the city honors and preserves its past, there are many modern activities to pursue, including beaches, golf courses, cultural and epicurean delights. Recently, Southwest Airlines announced it will begin service to the two regional airports within the next 12 months.


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