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Universal sets opening for Harry Potter theme park

It's official - Universal Orlando Resort has set June 18, 2010 as the grand opening date for its newest theme park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The heart of the park is a trio of rides that combine live action, film and robotic technology to immerse visitors in Harry's world.  The three rides are Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge. Along the way, visitors will join a flying Quidditch match, soar over Hogwarts, escape a dragon attack and encounter the Whomping Willow.

More details on The Wizarding World are available at makes it easy to plan your trip to Orlando.  You can book Orlando hotels, see winning Name Your Own Price bids for Orlando and even book a vacation package including airfare, hotel and rental car, all at substantial savings.


Ahh...Spa Week is coming

Spa Week 2010 is coming April 12th-18th.  This is the week when spas around the country offer specials to attract first-time customers and convince repeat customers to try different types of treatments.

The offers can be pretty attractive.  For example, the Ritz-Carlton Denver dropped me a note to say that they're offering $50 massages, facials, pedicures and hair conditioning treatments.  And you don't have to be a hotel guest to enjoy the discounted services.  To book an appointment, give them a call at 303-312-3820.

PS - you can book the Ritz-Carlton Denver right here on

So keep your eyes peeled and maybe give your local spa a call to see what they're doing for Spa Week.

The leisure traveler - still king in 2010?

There's a new survey out from American Express Business Travel that says many corporations are sticking with tightened travel policies in 2010, even as the economy improves.  In addition, 74% of the responding companies said they are using or planning to use audio-conferencing as an alternative to business travel.

If business travel stays down, will travel suppliers continue their aggressive courting of leisure travelers?  Maybe the leisure traveler will be king for awhile longer.

Whither Alaska cruise prices

 CruiseMates is reporting that cruise lines are scaling back their Alaska capacity for this year by as much as 140,000 cruisers.  That makes sense considering that I had heard that cruise lines had over-expanded their capacity for last year's season, only to have the recession pull out the rug.

So, the question will be: will the reduced capacity enable the cruise lines to start raising their Alaska prices for the current cruise season?  

I took a look and, right now, Priceline Cruises has some sweet deals on Alaska cruises.  There's a 7-night Alaska Hubbard Glacier Southbound trip aboard Royal Caribbean for $465 a person.  Carnival has a 6-night cruise for $439.  And NCL is offering a 7-night Alaska & Sawyer Glacier cruise for $569 a person.  An Alaska cruise for under $100 a night is pretty good. 

In the meantime, check Priceline Cruises for more Alaska cruise prices and specials.