Take advantage of bargain air fares for travel through Jan. 5-Mar. 10. Melinda, at USTravel and I have gone over some of the fares. You must purchase between now and Dec. 7, so hustle up! Here are some of the best rates (“rt all-in” = roundtrip, including all taxes, airport fees and airline surcharges) :
Anchorage-Seattle: $418 rt all-in.
Anchorage-Las Vegas: $519 rt all-in.
Anchorage-Houston: $558 rt all-in.
Fairbanks-Seattle: $519 rt all-in
Fairbanks-Phoenix: $680 rt all-in
Fairbanks-San Francisco: $618 rt all-in
Juneau-Santa Barbara: $540 rt all-in
Juneau-Seattle: $379 rt all-in
Juneau-Washington, DC: $600 rt all-in
Remember–PURCHASE BY MONDAY, Dec. 7. Puh-leeze, don’t wait until the last minute. That said, I’m struggling to nail down my own plans…HA! Call USTravel here in Anchorage, (907)561-2434 or toll-free (800)544-2217. In Kodiak, dial (907)486-3232. In Fairbanks, call (907)452-8992. In Juneau, call (907)463-5446. Check online for a list of USTravel locations.
Okay–Melinda offers some great tips for Disney lovers. Call her to plan your next Disney holiday: Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruises…the list goes on! (800)544-2217 or (907)561-2434. Below, Melinda details the “Fast Pass” program. Check it out!
So, Disneyâ€™s Fast Pass was introduced in 1999, and is really a great feature for Disney Parks. It helps with some of the waiting in lines for really popular attractions, and, unlike Universal Studios program, itâ€™s totally free. In Disneyland (CA) itâ€™s equipped on rides like Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, etc… Same for the attractions in Florida. Click here for a complete list. For more info on the program, click here.
Basically, it works like this:
1) When you buy Disney tickets at a store, they look like plastic gift cards (look for them on the gift card rack at Carrs or Freddyâ€™s next time youâ€™re there) or when you buy them at the park theyâ€™re printed as paper, with a black reader stripe. Clients MUST hold on to their ticket (be it paper or gift card, both work) in order to get Fast Pass Coupons.
2) Go to a ride that offers the Fast Pass option, for this demonstration, letâ€™s say Splash Mountain at Disneyland in California.
3) The Fast Pass machine looks like a small parking meter. Some of them have screens, some of them do not. Insert the ticket like you would an ATM Card. The machine will print out a Fast Pass good for one person (the ticket holder), and it will usually give an hour window that it is good for, say, from 10:00a â€“ 11:00a. It is ONLY good for those times. Not before, not after, just that small window. (Better pray the line for a cheeseburger isnâ€™t as long as the one at Pirates of the Caribbean!
4) One draw back (for some) is you can only hold ONE Fast Pass at a time. Now, you have an FP for Splash Mountain, so you canâ€™t run over to Indiana Jones and get another one, and then come back and ride all the rides at once. You only get one at a time.
5) 10:00a comes around, so you head on over to Splash Mountain, and you hop right into the very clearly marked â€œFAST PASS ONLYâ€. You cruise by all the suckers waiting the regular line like youâ€™re a movie star going to a big premier. There might be a little clog-up when you get to the front, but only because the wonderful Cast Members have to put people from the other line on the ride, too. They usually alternate ride carts. You might have a five minute wait, MAX.
6) Hop right on your ride and enjoy! (Try to keep your mouth closed when you splash down in the big pond at the end, that water is gross!)
Pros and Cons:
a. Letâ€™s pretend you get to Disney at the crack of 8a, when they open, like I do. You have super favorite rides, like mine, Space Mountain. The park opens, and you run right to Space Mountain to get a Fast Pass. Itâ€™s only 8a… your pass isnâ€™t good until 10a! But look, the regular line is reporting only 20 minutes long. Hop in that regular line, ride, have a blast! Go back to Main Street USA, get a coffee, a bagel, wake up, whatever. Head back and ride again at 10a!
b. Pick up a FP for the ride first on your list, and then head over to the attractions that donâ€™t have long lines! My favorites: the Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Bird House, the Haunted Mansion, King Arthurâ€™s Carousel… and ride the classics while waiting for that really long one!
c. Sometimes computers crash, or they have operator errors. There is always a friendly Cast Member nearby to assist!
a. Like I mentioned, you only get one FP at a time. That also sucks if youâ€™re there on a REALLY busy day, and lines for everything stretch to Newport Beach.
b. You have a very limited window of time to get to your attraction. This can be a pain if you have a lot of kids in tow.
c. They only have a certain number of Fast Passes for each ride per day… if you show up late in the day, and itâ€™s very busy, you might miss out!
Questions? Call Melinda today: (800)544-2217 or (907)561-2434.
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