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TRAVEL NEWS ITEMS
LEGOLAND® Hotel at LEGOLAND® California Resort
is Officially Open for Bed and Brickfest!
CARLSBAD, Calif. (April 5, 2013) – A knight riding in on a horse, an adventurer arriving in a sidecar motorcycle, a pirate repelling down the porte cochere next to a LEGO® smoke-breathing dragon, and a little girl who figured out how to put a larger-than-life room key together…that’s how the nation’s first LEGOLAND® Hotel at LEGOLAND®California Resort officially opened its doors to the public today in Carlsbad, California.
Created to bring children’s imaginations to life, the 250-room, three-story LEGOLAND Hotel opened its doors after a ceremony showcased the three room themes based on the most popular LEGO toy lines inside the family theme park: Kingdom, Adventure and Pirate. Confetti blasts showered the dragon created out of 400,000 LEGO bricks and hundreds of guests and members of the media as they flowed into the Hotel where they were surrounded by an interactive LEGO world designed for children age two to 12 and their families.
“LEGOLAND Hotel is the perfect complement and extension to the experience guests enjoy when they visit LEGOLAND California , SEA LIFE® Aquarium and LEGOLAND® Water Park, “ said LEGOLAND Hotel General Manager Frank Idris at the opening ceremony. “I am ready to get this adventure started!”
The adventure began years ago when guest feedback showed it took more than one day to explore all the Resort has to offer. “Our guest feedback is extremely important to us,” said General Manager of LEGOLAND California Resort Peter Ronchetti. “After all, everything we do here is done to enhance the guest experience and help them create memories that will last a lifetime. Now they can extend their experience even further by staying and playing in an entire Hotel that builds on fun.” Construction began in October, 2011 and every detail was considered when creating the unique Hotel where each room is LEGO themed from the carpeting to the walls and bedding and contains at least eight LEGO models. There are more than 3,500 LEGO models throughout the Hotel using more than three million LEGO bricks. Five thousand minifigures line the wall behind the reception desk as a LEGO model of a bicycle riding surfer highlights the individual figures with his magnified wheels.
LEGOLAND Hotel offers themed and premium themed rooms along with junior and family suites. Premium themed rooms have additional LEGO models and décor such as themed wall paper. Suites include an extra TV and doors that adjoin to the next room. Children have their own sleeping area in every room complete with bunk beds, a trundle bed and their own TV. Special amenities in each room are designed with children in mind, such as the lowered peephole and toilet training seats that can be used with every toilet.
Interactive features include a Castle Play area, a talking and water spraying dragon on the patio, a LEGO play pit in the reception area and a treasure hunt inside the rooms where younger guests search for clues to open a locked safe filled with LEGO treasure! The Castle Play area is the hub for imagination and fun at LEGOLAND Hotel. Based on the LEGO Kingdom, Pirate and Adventure lines, the area features a pirate ship attempting to dock in a LEGO filled moat next to an interactive castle. Young guests can pull on a handle as they enter the castle causing the LEGO ogre above them to roar. Nightly entertainment takes place on the castle stage as a pirate, princess, knight or adventurer interact with young guests to get them ready for bedtime.
A family of four LEGO dragons live within the Hotel: One smoke-breathing dragon at the entrance, a playful young dragon in the lobby sits on top of a handle and slowly spins it to make a LEGO river flow, a baby dragon peers over the ledge of the castle in the Castle Play area and an interactive bubble-blowing dragon named “Bubbles” is taking a bath on the patio as she playfully sprays water and “speaks” to young guests.
In keeping with the high standards of food served within LEGOLAND California Resort, the LEGOLAND Hotel features a variety of healthy and flavorful food options for the whole family. Bricks Family Restaurant serves a breakfast and dinner buffet with a station designed specifically for kids at a height they can reach. Mini’s Lounge is adjacent to the Castle Play area and provides guests an opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy some beverages and quick snacks. The Skyline Café features a LEGO city skyline with 35 fun scenes including a woman fighting a turkey that came out of her oven, a man swimming in his apartment being chased by a shark and a woman holding a banana to try to entice a monkey off her balcony.
The outdoor pool area, featuring a gradual incline 5-foot-deep swimming pool and a plethora of lounge chairs, gives guests a place to cool off after a day at the Park. Swim Up movies are shown at poolside Friday and Saturday nights during peak season. Surrounded by LEGO palm trees and views of the Hotel, even this pool area is a LEGO fans dream.
Located right at the main entrance of LEGOLAND California, Hotel guests will have exclusive early morning access to the theme park designed for families with children ages 2 – 12. For more information and to book reservations, visit: www.LEGOLANDHotel.com. LEGOLAND® California Resort includes LEGOLAND California, SEA LIFE™ Aquarium, LEGOLAND Water Park and LEGOLAND Hotel opening April 5 all geared for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. At LEGOLAND California, you’ll find more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including LEGO Star Wars™ Miniland Model Display, Pirate Reef and LEGO Legends of China 4-D movie. SEA LIFE incorporates LEGO® models into a child’s voyage to the depths of the ocean and features play zones, fun facts and quiz trails and the interactive Claws exhibit. For more information, visit www.LEGOLAND.com or call (760) 918-LEGO (5346).
ASHEVILLE<NC 20 Romantic Places To Visit
Biltmore: The estate includes America's largest castle and most-visited winery, along with grand gardens. It's the perfect spot to experience the "Downton Abbey" lifestyle.
Blue Ridge Parkway: One of the most scenic drives in the country features breathtaking mountain views, hiking, museums, camping and picnic spots.
Waterfalls: Of the hundreds of waterfalls near Asheville, most are located in state and federal parks with no admission fee.
Hikes: The best way to appreciate the outdoor splendor is hiking one of the hundreds of trails, ranging from multi-day treks on the Appalachian Trail to short strolls in Nantahala National Forest.
Downtown Asheville: In addition to browsing 200+ local stores, boutiques and art galleries, visitors love the street performers and Friday night drum circle.
Accommodations: Elegant bed and breakfasts, hip hotels and secluded log cabin rentals provide the perfect romantic getaway with options for all tastes.
Fall Color: Each autumn, the spectacular leaf color show in the Blue Ridge Mountains is the favorite time of year for visitors.
Restaurants: The Asheville culinary scene has exploded with farm-to-table restaurants with local food and world-class chefs.
DuPont State Forest: There is no admission fee to enjoy the hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails to several waterfalls.
Sliding Rock: This natural waterslide, located in Pisgah National Forest near Brevard and Looking Glass Falls, is the top summer spot to stay cool.
Events: Each week, there are street festivals, concerts, plays, art tours and other events in and near Asheville, and many of them are free.
Mt. Mitchell: The highest mountain in the eastern United States has a road to the top for panoramic views from the observation deck.
Great Smoky Mountains: This International Biosphere Reserve is home to rugged mountains, historic buildings, and 100,000 different types of plants and animals.
The Hunger Games: Film locations for the blockbuster movie include a ghost town and waterfalls.
Graveyard Fields: This mile-high meadow on the Blue Ridge Parkway has trails and waterfalls.
Beer: Asheville's title of "Beer City USA" is well earned with 20 craft breweries in western North Carolina.
Zip Lines: Canopy tours zip visitors through the mountain forests, over rivers and across valleys.
Chimney Rock Park: This famous rock formation in Hickory Nut Gorge overlooking Lake Lure provides mountain views, great hiking and a 400-foot waterfall.
Art: Hundreds of galleries and artist studios feature many art festivals, shows and tours.
Linville Falls: The most photographed waterfall in North Carolina cascades into Linville Gorge.
For more information, go to the 600-page online Asheville travel guide at www.RomanticAsheville.com.
GRAPEVINE ANNOUNCES 2013 FESTIVAL AND EVENT DATES
Experience Grapevine fun and festivities throughout 2013
GRAPEVINE, TEXAS – Grapevine, the number one festivals and events destination in Texas, announces its 2013 schedule featuring a full lineup of family-friendly festivals and exciting events. Create spectacular memories and celebrate wine, family-fun, chocolate, history, a vintage railroad and more year-round in Grapevine! Known as a leader in festivals and events and officially recognized as a World Festival & Events City by the International Festival & Events Association, Grapevine welcomed more than one and a half million visitors to the city’s festivals and special events in 2012. So, mark your calendars now for 2013 and find out why everyone’s talking about Grapevine!
Grapevine Farmers Market, March 21 – October 19 and Grapevine Market, April 11 – October 19: Shop ‘til you drop for an eclectic array of items including handmade jewelry, distinctive home décor, quality antiques and more. Open in Liberty Park, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until October 19. Live a healthy lifestyle with delicious locally grown produce and other products from North Texas vendors at The Grapevine Farmers Market. Open behind the Town Square Gazebo, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, March 21 – October 19, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Jazz Wine Trains, March 22 – 23: Jazz up your weekend on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad’s Jazz Wine Trains! The one-of-a-kind wine tasting experience features live Jazz entertainment, dinner and samplings of Grapevine wines. Tickets $55 per person.
9th Annual ChocolateFest, April 5 - 6: This annual fundraiser benefits Travelers Aid D/FW, an organization committed to assisting individuals and families facing a travel related crisis. On Friday, April 5, delicious delights await at An Evening of Chocolate and Wine featuring chocolates, wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and live music. This year the event moves to its new location, Delaney Vineyards, 2000 Champagne Boulevard from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. Tickets are $50. Advance purchase is required. On Saturday, April 6, enjoy a plethora of sweet treats at A Day of Chocolate & Art with chocolates, cooking demonstrations, art exhibits and sales at the Palace Art Center in Historic Downtown Grapevine from 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. $15 per person; under 7, $5.
Day Out with Thomas™, April 12, 13, 14, 19, 20 and 21: Hop on board the rails with Thomas the Tank Engine™ at Day Out With Thomas on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. This family-friendly event offers aspiring engineers and their families the unique opportunity to take a ride with the classic storybook engine on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. Activities include a train ride, storytelling and video viewing, temporary tattoos of Island of Sodor friends, and an Imagination Station with arts, crafts and more. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet Sir Topham Hatt, the Controller of the Railway on the Island of Sodor. Tickets $18.
21st Annual Blessing of the Vines and New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail, April 13: Celebrate this annual European tradition dating back hundreds of years in Grapevine, the headquarters of the Texas wine industry. On Saturday, April 13 at 11 a.m., experience Blessing of the Vines at Delaney Vineyards. This 400-year old custom is performed to ensure robust vines and savory grapes. Admission is free. After Blessing of the Vines, enjoy the New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail throughout Grapevine from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit each of Grapevine’s wineries and sample the new vintage releases as well as enjoy live entertainment and food at each winery. Tickets $49 per person.
12th Annual Spring Into Nash, April 20: Experience life like the earliest Grapevine settlers at the 12th Annual Spring into Nash. Held at Grapevine’s historic Nash Farm, the event features heritage toys, kitchen gardening, cotton planting, authentic heritage animal breeds, tractor-drawn wagon rides, field cultivation, wood carving demonstrations, jump rope making, cooking demonstrations on a wood burning stove and blacksmith demonstrations. This event is open to the public and handicap accessible. For more information, call 800-457-6338.
29th Annual Main Street Days, May 17, 18 and 19: Grab a slice of summer fun along the Pizza Piazza at the 29th Annual Main Street Days in Historic Downtown Grapevine! Along with delicious slices from some of your favorite Grapevine eateries, taste wines and premium craft beers from around the world. Indulge in other tantalizing festival foods and enjoy non-stop entertainment at this fun-filled festival perfect for the entire family. Admission is $7 (free before 5 p.m. on Friday).
5th Annual SummerBlast, May 24 – September 2: Have a blast this summer in Grapevine, the perfect summer destination for the entire family. Grapevine’s summer is jam-packed with events while you take advantage of hot hotel deals. From fantastic fireworks to spectacular shopping, wonderful wine trails, waterpark and poolside relaxation, you’ll find the perfect ways to spend your summer days in Grapevine. Fireworks happen every Friday night at 9:30 p.m. over Lake Grapevine. And don’t miss the special 31st anniversary fireworks show on July 4th.
27th Annual GrapeFest®, September 12, 13, 14 and 15: Don’t miss the largest wine festival in the Southwest! The four-day family-friendly festival offers a full lineup of activities such as the People’s Choice Wine Tasting Classic (the largest consumer-judged wine competition in the nation), live entertainment on stages throughout the festival, the Carnival Midway, the Vintners’ Auction, the Texas Wine Tribute, the GrapeFest Golf Classic, the GrapeFest Tennis Classic, ItalianCarFest and the ever-popular GrapeStomp. There are areas to sample wines throughout the festival, as well as shopping, delicious festival dishes, and more. $8 per person (free Thursday and Friday until 5 p.m.).
13th Annual Nash Farm Fall Round-Up, October 19: Celebrate fall on the farm at the 13th Annual Fall Round-Up at Nash Farm. Activities include jump rope making, leather working, wood carving, blacksmith demonstrations, wood stove cooking demonstration, cotton picking, corn shelling and grinding, farm chores, heritage toys, kitchen gardening and corn shuck doll making. This event is open to the public and is handicap accessible.
16th Annual Butterfly Flutterby, October 19: Come celebrate the southern migration of the Monarch butterflies. Guests can help release more than 600 butterflies during three scheduled releases throughout the event. Children and pets are invited to participate in the colorful Butterfly Parade and all parade participants, children and pets, can participate in the costume contest. Free admission. Activities also include arts, crafts and more.
Christmas Capital of Texas®, November 2013 – January 2014: Create Christmas memories in Grapevine, the Christmas Capital of Texas! See Grapevine transform as the city is blanketed with millions of lights, enormous decorations, animated characters and more than 1,400 events in 40-plus days. Events include North Pole Express®, Christmas on Main, ICE! and Lone Star Christmas at Gaylord Texan Resort, Light Show Spectacular, Carol of Lights, Parade of Lights, Santa’s Wonderland, Snowland at the Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine Opry’s Christmas Shows, Christmas musicals at the Historic Palace Theatre, Christmas Wine Trains and after Christmas Train Rides.
For tickets or more information regarding Grapevine’s festivals and events, please contact the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-457-6338 or 817-410-3185 or visit www.GrapevineTexasUSA.com.
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