Memorial Day Travel Events Bring Discounts

Memorial DayAs Memorial Day approaches, travelers are taking advantage of some special offers and events exclusive to the three-day weekend that officially begins on Friday, May 24. Discounts, special offers and events this year are available at a number of locations around the United States as America remembers the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Additionally, those in uniform have a variety of special discounts and offers.

Carnival Cruise Lines is offering a promotion that provides active and former military personnel with discounts of up to $600 per stateroom and shipboard credits of up to $100 per stateroom on a range of three- to 12-day sailings. Sister-line Princess cruises continues their Special Military Program, giving those who served up to $250 onboard credit on any sailing.

May is also National Military Appreciation Month and Florida’s Fantasy of Flight museum is offering complimentary admission to all active-duty, retired and reserve members of the U.S. Armed Forces when accompanied by a full-priced paid adult, senior or child general admission throughout the month of May.

Not a military member? There are still some Memorial Day promotions for you too.Disney is pulling an all-nighter with the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida and at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. The parks open from 6 a.m. May 24 to 6 a.m. May 25, to kick off the summer season. The parks will also have extra entertainment, live bands and characters in their pajamas.

On the West Coast, California’s Mammoth Mountain ski area has a Memorial Day $99 package to ski or ride, mountain bike and golf all in one day. The Ski-Bike-Golf Challenge allows unlimited skiing, snowboarding, and access to the bike park along with nine holes of golf at the resort’s Sierra Star course.

Also in California, the West Coast Thunder Bike Run in Riverside, the largest single-day motorcycle event west of the Mississippi, hosts nearly 7,000 motorcycle enthusiasts. Proceeds from the ride registration and concert tickets benefit the Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee and the event also includes a Military Appreciation Fair on Sunday, May 26.

Nothing at all planned yet for Memorial Day weekend? Now might be the time to do that.

According to Travelocity’s Memorial Day booking data, domestic airfare is down 2 percent year-over-year with the average cost at $341, six dollars less than it was in 2012. That might not sound like much but recent years have all seen increases in the price of airfare.

Even Amtrak is getting in the Memorial Day spirit, saving northeast regional rail travelers 25 percent when they book by May 10, 2013, for Memorial Day travel.

[Photo credit – Flickr member Fritz Liess]

Disney to dismantle iconic California sign

disney California sign is coming down

Disney is in the midst of a major overhaul at its California Adventure theme park in Anaheim, and the latest change is the removal of an iconic sign at the entry.

The California sign – really more of a monument than a sign, with letters spelling California stretched out in front of the park – will be removed next month.

That sign has been in countless family photos over the years, as many groups gather around it to take a picture before entering the park each day.

The letters get a makeover for certain seasons and for special events. When the theme park opened its World of Color show this summer, the letters were in technicolor. This holiday season, they have candy cane stripes.

disney california sign to be replaced by this gateThe remodeled entrance will echo the design of the legendary Pan Pacific Auditorium, and look a lot like the gate at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida.

That fits with the park’s re-theming, which is supposed to reflect back on Southern California in the 1930s, after Walt Disney arrived and started his studio.

The official Disney Parks blog reports that the CALIFORNIA letters will be kept for “possible future use.”

[Image credit (CALIFORNIA sign): Flickr user PunkJr]