Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Seeing pictures of hours-long lines at Universal Orlando Resort, full of fellow Harry Potter fans eager to get into the newest Wizarding World on it’s first day, got us scheming: How can you get into Diagon Alley before the crowds?! Obviously no day will be as busy as that opening day, but still. Here are some places to stay that will get you in an hour earlier than most muggles!
Stay at a Universal hotel. All four of them, Loews Portofino Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando, Loews Royal Pacific Resort (named one of American Baby’s Most Baby-Friendly Resorts), and the brand-new, moderately priced Cabana Bay Beach Resort grant you early access to both Universal parks. Read all the fine print here, but the bottom line is, there’s not much fine print. As long as you have park tickets and an active room key for one of the hotels, you can get in early, which usually means 8am versus 9am. The other obvious advantage to a Universal Hotel is you’re right next to the parks and can either walk or ride a free shuttle, skipping the parking hassle. Hey, every minute counts!
There’s a $135 per adult, per night, tax-inclusive offer for a four-night stay at the Cabana Bay Beach Resort that includes multi-day park-to-park tickets and some breakfasts, so it’s a deal, as long as you can do a four-night getaway. Travel has to be August 17 to October 2, or November 30 to December 18, and must be booked by July 31. Start here. There are upgrade options too!
Buy a Universal Orlando package. Quite a few hotels in the area partner with Universal Orlando Resort and, if you buy a Universal-specific package, you’ll be granted those same benefits (early admission, park-to-park tickets) for about half the cost, you’ll just need to drive to the parks. For instance, Hilton Orlando’s “Universal Orlando Vacation” package boasts early admission and two park-to-park tickets for just $102/night for two people through December 18th, 2014, and $50 off if you book four or more nights using the promo code UNITRAVEL. (Based on availability, and some blackout days apply.) Those savings will buy you a serious amount of butterbeer and probably a wand, too!
Watch one staffer’s 11-year-old’s take on the Hogsmeade features at Universal Orlando Resort.
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Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
This week we’ll take a break from family-travel deals and go back to our other favorite travel topic: babymoons! About half of expectant couples say they take a pre-baby vacay; we’ll help you be one of them.
HERE’S THE SPECIAL! Their new “Indulge with a Babymoon” experience caters to expecting couples with a $50 Cravings Credit for late-night snacking, a $100 AWAY Spa credit for couples treatments, an in-room calming essential oil amenity, and special pregnancy pillow in order to ensure a restful retreat. The experience is bookable with the rate plan WBBYMOON and starts at $319 nightly.
THE DESTINATION: Arizona, specifically the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson.
HERE’S THE SPECIAL! Expecting mothers can visit the iconic Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa for the “Mother’s Dream” package, including a pregnancy massage, sensitive skin facial, customized eye contour, warm cream mani + pedi, makeup refresher and a spa lunch for $406. With an exclusive adults-only pool, a swim-up bar (for Dad to be), numerous waterfalls and five pools, parents-to-be can escape and relax before the baby comes. The two “Summer Savings” packages have rates starting at $99 from May 25 to August 31, one inclusive of a $50 food and beverage credit when booking two or more nights.
THE DESTINATION: Florida, minutes from all the parks and entertainment at the Hilton Orlando
HERE’S THE SPECIAL! Couples can enjoy favorite attractions and shopping, then mom can ease her muscles with the “Mom’s To Be” full-body massage at the on-site spa for $120. The property also boasts a winding lazy river, two resort pools complete with a waterslide, 9-hole golf, bocce ball courts and more. Rates start at $99 a night.
THE DESTINATION: New York City, at the famed Towers of the Waldorf Astoria New York, the city’s luxurious hotel occupying the upper floors of the Waldorf Astoria.
HERE’S THE SPECIAL! The Guerlain Spa, located within the Towers, features a “When You’re Expecting Massage,” a customized prenatal body therapy to alleviate discomfort and relieve muscle fatigue, along with a Body Polish service that helps exfoliate and soften skin, leaving skin smooth and hydrated and possibly minimizing stretch marks. Answering to the high demand for pre and post-natal services, the spa features appropriate pregnancy pillows for body support in any treatment position, and has also established a partnership with Mama Mio to incorporate their skincare products.
Two packages are available. “Babymoon, An Evening In” includes a Towers suite, breakfast in bed, and Guerlain Spa Couple’s Service (massage, training session, mocktails and milkshakes), with rates starting at $975 a night. “Babymoon, A Weekend at the Waldorf” includes a Towers suite for two nights, Guerlain Spa Couple’s Service (massage, training session, mocktails and milkshakes), dinner at the Bull and Bear, and breakfast in bed, with rates starting at $1,685.
Do a search and you can find all of our American Baby babymoon specials on Goodyblog.
Not only is leisure travel good for your state of mind during pregnancy, so is exercise! Check out these ab exercises made for core-strengthening during pregnancy.
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