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Our Visit To Tokyo Disneyland 2014 Part 2

31 March 2014

Visiting Tokyo Disneyland will not be complete if you haven't even visited the other half of the theme park.  I have featured the other half of the theme park in the first part of this post. The other half of Tokyo Disneyland is featured in this post. The resort map below is for illustration purposes.

Taken from http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en



Fantasyland

Of all the attractions in the park, this is my favorite because I can ride in most of the attraction rides here. Also, my favorite Haunted Mansion is in this lot!




  • Peter Pan's Flight
  • Snow White's Adventures
  • Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall
  • Mickey's PhilharMagic
  • Pinocchio's Daring Journey
  • Dumbo The Flying Elephant
  • Castle Carrousel
  • Haunted Mansion
  • It's A Small World
  • Alice's Tea Party
  • Pooh's Hunny Hunt





Toontown


  • Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
  • Minnie's House
  • Chip 'n Dale's Treehouse
  • Gadget's Go Coaster
  • Donald's Boat
  • Goofy's Paint 'n' Play House
  • Toon Park
  • Mickey's House and Meet Mickey



Tomorrowland





  • Monsters, Inc. Ride & Go Seek!
  • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
  • Space Mountain
  • Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters
  • Captain EO
  • StarJets
  • Grand Circuit Raceway


The whole day is not enough to explore the whole area. And we are talking about 1 part of the Tokyo Disney Resort. Next time we come back in this place, I will really make sure to book another extra night so we can enjoy the other theme park.

Here are more pics around Disney.





and lastly...





Tokyo Disneyland is located in 1-1 Maihama, Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture 279-0031, Japan. There are various ways to get there. For more information, please visit their official site.


Our Visit To Tokyo Disneyland 2014 Part 1

29 March 2014




Disneyland is the happiest place on earth! And this is the third time I have to say that. We have been to the other Disney franchise in Paris, Hong Kong and this one, in Tokyo.  And they exude the same kind of happiness no matter which Disneyland park you visit.

Our one-day pass to Disney, again, is not enough. When will I ever learn? Each time I plan for a trip, I would say 2-days then we end up buying only 1-day pass. Next time, I will make sure it is 2 days. Besides, we have yet to visit the ones in Anaheim and Orlando.

Park ticket rates varies per season. At the time of our visit, it was still not peak season and it was a weekday. I bought the 1-day pass for: 1 adult is JPY 6,200 and 1 junior (from ages 12-17 ) is JPY 5,300 and 1 child (from 4-11)is JPY 4,100 (excluding taxes).

The Tokyo Disney Resort comprises of 2 theme parks - Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea Resort.

I will only feature Tokyo Disneyland here as we didn't have time to visit the other. We also only bought 1-day pass for Tokyo Disneyland. Below are some snaps from our adventure in Tokyo Disney. Let me just break it down for you per areas of the park.

Photo from http://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/



What are the attractions in Tokyo Disneyland?

World Bazaar




  • Penny Arcade
  • Omnibus
  • The Disney Gallery


Adventureland




  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Western River Railroad
  • Swiss Family Tree House
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room




Westernland





  • Country Bear Theater
  • Westernland Shootin' Gallery
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Mark Twain River Boat
  • Tom Sawyer Island Rafts




Critter Country

  • Beaver Brothers Explorers Canoe
  • Splash Mountain







Top 7 Reasons to Visit Madrid

28 March 2014

Photo not mine


Madrid, the centrally located capital city of Spain, is known for its historical museums, its buoyant nightlife and its exquisite gastronomical scene. The city might not have the architectural charm of Barcelona or the pristine beaches of Malaga, but Madrid is truly the heart of Spain. If you are still planning your next holidays, take a look at this list about the main landmarks in the city.

1. The Museums

The Golden Triangle is formed by the city's three main museums, the Museo del Prado, the Museo Reina Sofia and the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza. Walk around the Prado while looking at some of Goya's masterpieces, contemplate Picasso's Guernica located at the modern art Reina Sofia, and walk through the history of art at the Thyssen Bornemisza.

2. The Shops

The Golden Mile stretches along Serrano Street, an upscale street a couple of minutes away from the large hotels in the city center. The nearby streets are filled with classy shops revealing designer handbags, evening dresses and shoes signed by fashion's top brands. Next to these glossy shops visitors can find more affordable brands such as H and M and Zara. If toting heavy bags from shop to shop is a tiring process, maybe one of the many El Corte Inglés department stores is the right choice. There, all brands are located on one floor, and one can buy anything ranging from a cocktail dress, baby clothes or jewelery to a book, a digital camera or gourmet food.

3. The Food

The tapas might not be a strictly Madridian invention, but the sheer amount of bars that serve them is enough to cater even for the most capricious guests. Just a couple of minutes from the tourist traps near Plaza de Sol is La Latina, a traditional barrio where visitors can mingle with locals while enjoying some pan con tomate, patatas bravas and aceitunas with a caña or a tinto de verano.

4. The Football

Barcelona F.C. might get all the international headlines, but there is more to Madrid's most beloved team than football. Home to the royal club, Real Madrid F.C., the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium located in the financial district is a must see for all football fans out there. The stadium has its own sports shops where visitors can buy the official uniform of the club, sports equipment and stock up on souvenirs. There is a cafeteria inside the stadium and guided tours are offered around this stadium, which has so far hosted three European Cup finals. The Estadio Vicente Calderón, home to the Atlético de Madrid, is another stadium.

5. The Nature

Right in the centre of the city visitors will find the Parque del Buen Retiro, the ancient royal gardens that are one of Madrid's top attractions. Enjoy a café con leche in one of the terrazas, let the little ones play in one of the many playgrounds, observe the locals taking their daily stroll or simply rent a boat and enjoy a boat ride in the pond.

6. The Day Trips

This centric city offers visitors the opportunity to visit some of the nearby historical towns. In Aranjuez guests can visit the ancient Royal Palace. In Segovia they can walk under the Roman Bridge before tasting a juicy cochinillo segoviano. In El Escorial, up in the hills of the sierra, guests can walk around the old monastery and its gardens. In the historical town of Toledo visitors can explore the history of this country.

7. The Theme Parks

There are two theme parks in the city. The relatively new Warner Bros Park, located to the south of the city, has many themed attractions, roller coasters and water rides. The more traditional Parque de Atracciones is located only a couple of metro stops from the city center, in a large park with a lake and a zoo, where visitors will be able to enjoy the many roller coasters, drop towers, and other amusement rides. There are several water parks in the city where visitors can spend a day in the many pools.



Review - Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai Festival City

22 March 2014


 photo cph1jpg.jpg


What would be more exciting than spending your birthday in a nice, posh hotel, over-looking the Dubai Creek! I just had a wonderful and quiet celebration in one of the best hotels in Dubai - The Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai Festival City last 14-15 March, 2014.

I always check the rates of this hotel from either Booking.com or Hotels.com but there is never the right moment where I could actually get a good deal. Reason being, if I have to be practical, it is not a low-budget hotel. But if fate would have it, we were meant to spend my birthday in this hotel.



My husband booked an overnight stay in Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai Festival City for a Deluxe Room with King Sized bed. He got a good rate directly from the hotel because he has IHG Loyalty Card. Aside from getting a good rate, we were also given a room in the 17th floor and with a creek-side view. Isn't that amazing?

The Crowne Plaza Hotel Dubai Festival City has a 5-star rating and is a part of the InterContinental Hotel Group family of brands. It is located in the premises of Dubai Festival City adjacent to the InterContinental Hotel.

My family and I certainly enjoyed our stay there. Aside from being treated like royal guests, I was also presented with a birthday chocolate mousse cake, delivered to our room few hours after we checked in! I must thank the manager, Mr. Emad Ramzy for organizing the whole thing and not only that, the cake came with a birthday card signed by some of the staff in Zaytoun Restaurant. I truly appreciate the gesture and the thought! It's one of the best birthday cakes I have ever tasted in my life!



What I like: 


Room




  • Very spacious room
  • Super comfortable bed! This hotel happens to have a Sleep Advantage program where every guest's comfort is taken to the highest esteem. We arrived in our room and found a blue pouch with a sleeping mist for our pillows and Breathe In roller for the pulse which you will inhale to help you clear your head and relax. The spray and roll are infused with Frankincense, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Vetivert and Camomile.  It was really nice of them to ensure that we get our good night's sleep. We actually did!


  • There is a spare pillow and blanket.
  • The roll-out extra bed was free for use for my daughter and it only took few minutes for the staff to get it assembled in our room.
  • Very clean room
  • Huge bathroom with a huge bathtub, great for soaking!
  • The bathroom amenities like the shower gel, shampoo and conditioner all smelled so good.


  • The huge desk for me to get down to business with my blogs.
  • The free and unlimited wifi use in our room.



  • The mini-bar is well stocked with expensive brand of water and liquor. No, we didn't consume any!
  • I love that aside from coffee, they also have a choice of chocolate drink from the free condiments.



  • The flat screen TV can be loosened from the wall and can be moved in different angles. I enjoyed it so much that even if I was sitting on the study area, I could still watch the TV.





Lobby





  • It was not very crowded when we checked in. Normal check in time is 2 p.m. but we were allowed to check in around 12 noon.
  • The check in process, and so was the check out was a breeze. It just took barely 5 minutes to get everything done.
  • Not a very noisy area so you can actually sit and read a good book there and you don't get disturbed.
  • The staff from the valet, bell hops to the reception and Concierge are all courteous and amiable. They greeted us with a smile all the time. We felt like VIPs!


Amenities/Facilities 



  • They have several pools so it will not get crowded.
  • The gym is well lit and has attendants to provide you assistance.
  • The Zaytoun restaurant has wide selection of breakfast buffet. We all loved the selection!


Perks

  • We were allowed to stay until 2 p.m. because of my husband's IHG Loyalty membership.
  • we were given 2 vouchers for a complimentary beverage we can claim from the Mazar Lounge (a coffee shop in the lobby) or at Zaytoun.
  • Free valet parking


Location

  • Ideally located in the same premise as the Dubai Festival City. It was easy to grab a bite in the wide variety of food selection in the food court and to while away our time while in the hotel.
  • There are plenty of cabs at the ready if you need to hop on one and decide to visit other attractions nearby.




What I don't like:

NOTHING. I enjoyed every moment of our brief stay there. If I had a choice, I would have stayed longer. So I could have explored and tried more of the property's amenities and facilities.

Price: 

AED 966.60 inclusive of tax (FIT rate) (approx US$ 265/night with taxes)

Room type: 

1 King Bed Deluxe Dubai Creek View

Meal plan: 

There is no meal plan associated with the rate. We had our breakfast buffet for AED 110 each (approx US$ 30 per head).

Amenities:

Bathroom and personal care available such as bathrobes, slippers, toiletries (toothbrush and extra shampoo, conditioner, gel and soaps are available upon request), clean towels
Shoe polish
Laundry service
Hair dryer
Pressing table
Flat iron
Bath tub
Bidet
Mini-safe
Percolator and condiments supply
Mini-bar and mini-ref
Flat TV
High tech telephones with speaker phone
Individually controlled air conditioning thermostat
iPod dock with alarm clock
Electronic turndown notice (a light will be lit if you switched this on and the housekeeping will not clean your room)
24-hour gym
Spa
Pools
Valet parking
Business center
Secretarial services
Baby-sitting
Access to Dubai Festival City via InterContinental Hotel

Nearby attractions:

Dubai Creek and boardwalk
Dubai Creekside Park
Al badia Golf Club
Burj Khalifa and the Downtown Dubai

My recommendation: (1-5, 5 star being the highest)

I highly recommend this hotel both for leisure and business purposes. You are assured to get enough rest with peace and quiet comfort as the main goals of the hotel property. Location is perfect. The rate is okay considering that you actually get what you have paid for - comfort, security and fun!

I am giving this property the highest rating of 5 stars! It deserves to get that 5-star rating as it lives up to its 5-star image.




To know more about this hotel, you may visit their website.

If you want to book a stay in this hotel or other hotels in Dubai, please search and book here: Booking.com
Disclaimer:
I was not compensated to do this review. My opinion is 100% mine and may vary from yours.

St. Patrick's Festival in Dublin, Ireland

17 March 2014

St. Patrick's Festival is an annual celebration held in Dublin, Ireland. It was established in November 1995. Since then, it has become a well-known celebration around the world, making the Irish proud of their ancestry, talents and skills shown throughout the world.

Today is St. Patrick's Day and revelries are ringing around Dublin on this joyous occasion to celebrate St. Patrick.

All photos below are from http://www.stpatricksfestival.ie/.







HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!


The Dark Past of Four Season's Hotel in Istanbul

16 March 2014

Famous hotels have reputations to make and some keep. Some of them even pride themselves for being temporary homes to famous dignitaries, film icons, politicians and rich business moguls. However, there is one hotel in Istanbul that has a dark past that some people may find interesting while others scary.

Hotel's facade


Four Seasons Hotel Sultanahmet is a well-known brand of luxury hotel from the Four Seasons group. It boasts a 5-star category as well. While it catered to the rich and famous in the present times, it used to cater to different clients before it became a famous hotel in Istanbul. It used to be Sultanahmet Prison where the shadiest and some intellectual characters of the society reside while they serve their prison terms.

The prison which is now the famous hotel was established in 1900s during the uprising. Though the past has long been forgotten or have been set aside, you can still see some of the hotel’s dark past etched in some nooks of the property. The prison’s 65 quarters were all converted to guests’ accommodations with a beautiful view of the Topkapi Palace, Sultanahmet Mosque and Hagia Sofia. Those beautiful landmarks are the hotel’s great selling points.

Hotel's deck overlooking Sultanahmet Mosque
Here are some photos of the hotel's luxurious interior.









(All photos credit: fourseasons.com/istanbul)

Malaysia Airline MH 370 Flight Missing

08 March 2014

Credit: en.wikipedia.org


This is one news we all don't want to hear. Being in the aviation industry, it pains me to hear something like this because most of the time, it is never good.

Today 8 March 2014, around 2 in the morning, flight Malaysia Airline MH 370 went missing after few hours from leaving Kuala Lumpur bound to Beijing. The B777-200 series aircraft carried 239 people, mostly Chinese, on board and is still not found.

A lot of questions are now raised as to why the flight crew did not give a distress call. So many ifs but the whereabouts is not yet fully determined.

I am offering my prayers to all the people on board and the families of each and everyone. I hope, they had done an emergency landing somewhere and didn't have the working equipment to make a distress call. Dear God, help them all.

Things To Do In Harajuku and Omotesando Area in Tokyo

05 March 2014



Harajuku and Omotesando are nice places to visit in Tokyo. They are both located in Shibuya Ward and are close to each other so if you visit one place, you cannot miss the other.

Harajuku was formerly referred to as Onden which is a low-lying area near the Meiji Street. Now, it is very famous for its quaint little shops in Takeshita Street and the young cosplayers walking around during weekends.



Nearby area is Omotesando. It stretches from the foot of Takeshita Street all the way down to Aoyama Dori where the Omotesando Station is located. It is known for as home to some of the well-known brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Herzog and many more, all close to each other. It is sometimes touted as the Champs Elysees of Tokyo.

If you find yourself wandering in Tokyo, make time to visit these 2 places for a nice walk along the famous streets and a look in some of the high-end brands in Tokyo. There are other things to do aside from window-shopping. Here are things you can do in Harajuku and Omotesando.







HARAJUKU

  • Visit Takeshita Dori
  • Shop at the quaint stores in Takeshita
  • Walk the stretch of Takeshita all the way to the other end leading to Omotesando
  • People watch, especially the young cosplayers during weekend
  • Try out their famous crepe in cone
  • Visit the Yoyogi Park
  • Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Shop at the big Daiso Shop
  • Visit Yoyogi National Stadium





OMOTESANDO

  • Shop along the "5th Avenue" of Tokyo
  • Visit Kiddyland if you're the kid at heart. It has loads of toys and has several floors full of fun!
  • Visit the Oriental Bazaar which sells Japanese souvenirs
  • Visit Cat Street
  • Visit the nearby Shibuya Crossing




Things To Do In Harajuku and Omotesando Area in Tokyo



Harajuku and Omotesando are nice places to visit in Tokyo. They are both located in Shibuya Ward and are close to each other so if you visit one place, you cannot miss the other.

Harajuku was formerly referred to as Onden which is a low-lying area near the Meiji Street. Now, it is very famous for its quaint little shops in Takeshita Street and the young cosplayers walking around during weekends.



Nearby area is Omotesando. It stretches from the foot of Takeshita Street all the way down to Aoyama Dori where the Omotesando Station is located. It is known for as home to some of the well-known brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Herzog and many more, all close to each other. It is sometimes touted as the Champs Elysees of Tokyo.

If you find yourself wandering in Tokyo, make time to visit these 2 places for a nice walk along the famous streets and a look in some of the high-end brands in Tokyo. There are other things to do aside from window-shopping. Here are things you can do in Harajuku and Omotesando.







HARAJUKU

  • Visit Takeshita Dori
  • Shop at the quaint stores in Takeshita
  • Walk the stretch of Takeshita all the way to the other end leading to Omotesando
  • People watch, especially the young cosplayers during weekend
  • Try out their famous crepe in cone
  • Visit the Yoyogi Park
  • Visit the Meiji Jingu Shrine
  • Shop at the big Daiso Shop
  • Visit Yoyogi National Stadium





OMOTESANDO

  • Shop along the "5th Avenue" of Tokyo
  • Visit Kiddyland if you're the kid at heart. It has loads of toys and has several floors full of fun!
  • Visit the Oriental Bazaar which sells Japanese souvenirs
  • Visit Cat Street
  • Visit the nearby Shibuya Crossing




.