Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Sunday

November 25, 2012

Travel Briefs: 11/25/2012

Fee-free days at national parks

WASHINGTON — More than 2,000 national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and other federal lands will offer free admittance on select dates in 2013.

The 13 Fee Free Days in 2013 include Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 28) and Veterans Day Weekend (Nov. 9-11). The fee waiver does not cover expanded amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation or special tours.

In addition, active duty military members and their dependents are eligible for a free annual pass that provides entrance to lands managed by the National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Forest Service. The America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program also offers a free lifetime pass for people with disabilities, a $10 lifetime senior pass for those 62 and over, and an $80 annual pass for the general public.

Holiday Disney deals

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. — Walt Disney World Resort opens its New Fantasyland Dec. 6.

The largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom Park, New Fantasyland features two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences will include Under The Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid; Be Our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; and Ariel's Grotto. Storybook Circus attractions include: The Barnstormer; Dumbo The Flying Elephant; Casey Jr. Splash 'N' Soak Station; and Fantasyland Station. New Fantasyland will feature more additions in 2013, which will include Princess Fairytale Hall and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Seven official Disney Resort hotels are offering special value rates Dec. 1 through 24 to coincide with the New Fantasyland opening. Besides being within walking distance of many Downtown Disney attractions, the hotels provide complimentary shuttle transportation to all four Walt Disney World theme parks, two water parks and to Downtown Disney.

Value rates start at $79 per room per night at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel; $89 at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, $89 at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton, $79.20 at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, $99 at the Holiday Inn Lake Buena Vista Downtown, $69 at the Royal Plaza Hotel and $69 at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort. Some blackout dates may apply.

For more information on the "December Value Rates," or to make a reservation, visit

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