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Good things may come in threes, but the most fun is to be had in fours – the exact amount of days we suggest spending at Disneyland Resort in California! To make the most of your 96 hours in ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ (and to take advantage of Excite Holiday’s current promotion which offers a 4-Day Disneyland Resort in California ticket at the price of a 3-Day ticket!) here is everything you need to know about planning the perfect itinerary.

DAY 1: KICK THINGS OFF WITH THE CLASSICS

Fuel for your adventures with ‘Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park’ – a delicious buffet breakfast at the Plaza Inn on Main Street in Disneyland Park. The only thing better than the all-you-can-eat spread of Mickey waffles, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh-baked pastries is the chance to share them with the cast of Disney characters who will join you. 

Hunger satiated it’s time to get a little strategic and organise your route around the rides. The perennially popular ones are those which have withstood the test of time and can be found within the park’s five original lands (including Main Street USA). Enter Fantasyland through Sleeping Beauty Castle and once inside float on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, journey down the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland or get your heart-rate racing on the Matterhorn Bobsleds (before bringing it right back down with a detour to ‘it’s a small world’). Visit Indiana Jones Adventure in Adventureland, weave your way through the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Frontierland and don’t miss the iconic rollercoaster that is Space Mountain (or any of the original Star Wars attractions) in Tomorrowland. Other unmissable adventures include getting your feet wet at Critter Country’s Splash Mountain, experiencing the Topsy-Turvy, Quirky Worlds of Mickey’s Toontown and joining Jack Sparrow on Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. 

As the sun sets, finish the day at either Frontierland or New Orleans Square and settle in for a night of entertainment with Fantasmic!. This half-hour night-time spectacular features projection, water, fire and fireworks to invite visitors into the mind of Mickey with featurettes from classic films such as Aladdin, The Lion King and Disney’s epic live-action adventure Pirates of the Caribbean – all set to a magical score.

Handy Hint: Make sure you’ve downloaded the Disneyland Resort App before you visit. Once you’re at the Resort, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase Disney MaxPass service via the App which allows you to skip the lines for some of your favourite attractions through the FASTPASS service, as well as capture all your memories with unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads for a day.

DAY 2: ADD A LITTLE ADVENTURE TO THE OCCASION

Make your time in Disneyland Resort in California count by dedicating day two to the thrill-seeking stretch that is Disney California Adventure Park. Enter via Buena Vista Street then visit some of your favourite lands – and the rides contained within. Fans of the Cars movie franchise will love Cars Land where they can enjoy a ride on the Radiator Springs Racers, while aspiring adventurers can learn to fly at Goofy’s Sky School or opt for The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Paradise Gardens Park. Foodies are encouraged to take a Bakery Tour through the charming waterfront destination that is Pacific Wharf or stop for lunch at Smokejumpers Grill in Grizzly Peak. The afternoon is best dedicated to Hollywood Land where you have the chance to meet Frozen’s Anna, Elsa and Olaf or the crew of Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! 

By night, experience World of Color at Paradise Gardens Park. The after-dark spectacle is a breathtaking extravaganza that weaves water fountains, lights, music and perfectly timed pyrotechnics in an impressive ode to all things Disney. And with scenes from a plethora of beloved Disney and Pixar films – both classic and new releases – projected onto a grand fountain spraying 19,000-square-feet of water, it’s a wondrous way to cement Disneyland Resort in California’s status as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’

DAY 3: ALL THE NEW (AND NEWISH!) THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Always evolving, Disneyland Resort in California continues to enchant visitors with fresh attractions, openings and offerings every year.  

Among the latest is the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in Disneyland Park. The themed area is inspired by the Star Wars franchise, and its 14 acres (named one of Time magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Places 2019’) include rides like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, workshops (such as Droid Depot – where you can assemble a Custom Astromech Droid Unit and Savi’s Workshop – where you can construct your own legendary lightsaber) and experiences certain to transport you to a ‘Galaxy Far, Far Away.’ Impressively big and incredibly immersive you’ll probably spend the better part of the day here. 

Then head back over to Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park and the newly launched Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! to join Rocket in a mission to save the other Guardians from the Collector’s Fortress. 

While you’re there, explore the many neighbourhoods of the recently re-imagined Pixar Pier. Stroll along the whimsical boardwalk and watch your favourite Pixar stories and characters come to life, channel your inner Woody at Toy Story Midway Mania!, or take a mad dash alongside the Parr family on the thrilling Incredicoaster. End the day atop the Pixar Pal-A-Round ferris wheel and give yourself a moment to take in the sweeping views of the entire Disneyland Resort in California below you.

DAY 4: SHOW - AND STOMACH - STOPPING!

While there is no shortage of amazing night experiences every evening at Disneyland Resort in California, the Parks are also packed with stage shows best experienced by light. And day four is the time to take a break from the rides and dedicate yourself to enjoying one of these alternative experiences. Performances are often on several times a day so check the daily schedule for up-to-the-minute start times.

Start at Disneyland Park, where the Royal Theatre (an open-air medieval-style tent and charming stage) at Fantasyland sets the perfect backdrop for storytelling and lets you experience new worlds with Disney favourites. Here, dynamic thespian duo Mr Smythe and Mr Jones direct their own version of scenes from Beauty and the Beast or Tangled, and transport viewers to a funny, fantastical version of ‘happily ever after.’ Or head back to the Hyperion Theatre in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park for a 55-minute Broadway-style musical of Frozen. Another option is a stroll through the Downtown Disney District, where you can immerse yourself in mind-blowing stories and discover amazing worlds on virtual-reality walkthrough adventures at The VOID (and stock up on souvenirs from one of the many stores in the area, while you’re there!).

Today is also the perfect time to check out some of the unique eateries and dining (and drinking!) options scattered throughout Disneyland Resort in California. 

Don’t miss the iconically oversized Turkey Legs at Fantasyland’s Edelweiss Snacks, try the Dole Whip soft-serve frozen pineapple at the Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland, hunt down a churro (often available in special themed, limited-edition flavours), tuck into The Monte Cristo (a deep-fried ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese sandwich sprinkled with icing sugar at Cafe Orleans), grab a Cheese Corn Dog at Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure Park’s Paradise Gardens, or indulge in a drink at Oga’s Cantina at the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – served with a side of musical entertainment courtesy of droid DJ R-3X – to keep the good times rolling! 

To finish off your Disneyland Resort adventure, keep an eye out for seasonal fireworks. The schedule varies depending on the time of year and is released 40 days in advance so check the Disneyland app or website for details.

For details please contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108 - they have access to all Excite Holiday deals. 

Source: Excite Holidays.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Air Tahiti Nui says “nānā” to its last Airbus and “Ia Orana” to an all ‘Tahitian Dreamliner’ fleet. General manager pacific, Daniel Eggenberger says, “This ambitious fleet renewal programme makes our fleet the youngest in the world, with an average aircraft age of just a few months.”

With the Airbus now phased out from the entire Air Tahiti Nui fleet, Eggenberger says with the comfort and design of the 787 Dreamliner will deliver around 20% fuel efficiency which he says “Significantly reduces the airline’s carbon footprint.”  With the new Tahitian Dreamliner comes new livery and a design concept that encapsulates the spirit of French Polynesia in an authentic, yet refreshingly contemporary way.

New crew uniforms featuring the bright colours cherished by famed painter Gauguin have been added to the Purotu and Marmarau dresses, that are favoured by Polynesian women. Bright and exotic hues of red, yellow, blue and even rose motifs that were hallmarks of the painter have been worked into the design, making it a real representation of French Polynesia.

The airline’s fleet and inflight enhancements are accompanied by a revamp of its Tahitian headquarters as it quite literally flies into a more modern age that has a strong environmental mandate as well as celebrating its French Polynesian roots.

Eggenberger remarks that Air Tahiti Nui’s future is looking bright with its new offering that will also reduce travel time on the Auckland – Papeete route by up to half-an-hour and offer customers what he describes as the “Perfect entrée to their French Polynesian sejour.”

Air Tahiti Nui can land you in the South Pacific paradise of Tahiti in under 5 hours from Auckland and offers three services a week from Auckland to Papeete with additional codeshare flights taking total capacity to five times a week.

For more information on Tahiti and Air Tahiti Nui please contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.

Source: Air Tahiti Nui

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

American Airlines has announced plans to launch seasonal services between Christchurch and Los Angeles--and between Auckland Dallas-Fort Worth--from 2020.

The long-rumoured Christchurch - Los Angeles service, the only non-stop flights between the city pair, is set to take off Oct 2020, with three flights weekly, Oct-Mar, operated by a Boeing 787-8.

The Auckland - Dallas flights, also thrice-weekly over the Oct-Mar peak, will be operated by a Boeing 787-9.

Source: Travel Today

submitted by -- Tony Terrill