Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Hotel Hershey Wine & Food Festival Returns September 16 – 18, 2016

Wine & Food Festival



The Hotel Hershey Wine & Food Festival returns to Hershey The Sweetest Place On Earth from September 16 - 18, 2016. Enjoy fine wine, fresh flavors, and spirited events including a comedy show, local winery tour, Pinot Noir blending class, the Grand Tasting, a NEW wine and cheese tasting class, and more at the seventh annual event.  
Friday, September 16
  • Wine, Dine, And Punch Lines: a wine reception hosted by Kim Crawford of Loveblock Wines at 6:30 p.m. and a comedy show by Laurie Forster, The Stand Up Sommelier, at 8:00 p.m.; $96 per person
Saturday, September 17
  • Vine To Wine at Waltz Vineyards: a unique experience that guides guests through the winemaking process at Waltz Vineyards; 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $54 per person with box lunch
  • NEW! Count Sebastiano Capone Wine & Cheese Tasting: a guided tasting and pairing of five wines and local cheeses; 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.; $54 per person
  • Davis Bynum Blending Class: a guided tour through the process and art of blending Pinot Noir; 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; $48 per person
  • Concho Y Toro Wine Dinner: hosted by Italo Jofre from Concho Y Toro, a five-course meal paired with delicious wines; 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.; $120 per person
Sunday, September 18
  • VIP Winemaker Breakfast: a breakfast buffet with several wine makers from The Grand Tasting; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; $30 per person
  • The Grand Tasting: live jazz entertainment, international and domestic wine stations hosted by official vintner representatives, a selection of domestic breweries, and delicious culinary samplings from our award winning chefs; 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.; $72 per person and $20 per designated driver
WhereThe Hotel Hershey, 100 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033
Guest Reservations: 717-534-8800
More Information: www.TheHotelHershey.com

Royal Caribbean Announces Agreement To Build World-Class Cruise Terminal At PortMiami

New, iconic cruise terminal - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s (RCL) new, iconic terminal at PortMiami will be home to an Oasis class ship. The iconic building is slated for late 2018.

Cruise Line Plans to Sail an Oasis-Class Ship Out of the State-Of-The-Art Terminal
 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) has announced an agreement with Miami-Dade County to construct and operate a dramatic new cruise terminal at PortMiami, on land leased from the County. The new terminal will be a striking addition to PortMiami, and will serve as homeport to Royal Caribbean International ships, including a 5,400-passenger Oasis-class ship, the world’s largest and most innovative cruise ships. The agreement will come before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners on July 6, 2016.                                                                                                              

“We are truly excited to be working with Miami-Dade County and PortMiami to create not just another cruise terminal, but a truly iconic building,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “This new terminal is a symbol of our commitment to Miami, the city where our company first started almost 50 years ago. We can’t wait to bring an Oasis-class ship to PortMiami.”

“Miami-Dade County is happy to welcome Royal Caribbean’s expansion at PortMiami, and all the economic benefits that come along with it," said Carlos Gimenez, Miami-Dade County Mayor. “This public-private partnership will have an estimated economic impact of $500 million and generate approximately 4,000 jobs. Royal Caribbean has been an important part of our world-class community for almost 50 years, and this expansion will once again make PortMiami Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise port in the world. I thank them for their continued investment in and commitment to Miami-Dade.”

Broadway Malyan has been selected as the firm to design the new terminal, after a global competition was held between five of the world's leading architectural firms. The firm was selected because of their creative thinking and cutting-edge design.  
 
The 170,000-square-foot terminal is nicknamed the ‘Crown of Miami’ because of its distinct shape.   The design evokes the points of the symbolic headgear when viewed from the water; the ‘M’ of Miami when viewed from the east or western approaches; and a sense of waves rising or ships passing when viewed from the terminal side. At night, the terminal’s facade will be lit ensuring that the building makes a striking impression and providing a dynamic addition to the PortMiami landscape. 

The new terminal will not be the only addition for Royal Caribbean in the coming year. The company has committed to add a 20,000-square-foot Innovation Lab to its corporate headquarters located at PortMiami. The Innovation Lab will continue to generate Royal Caribbean’s industry-leading, innovative vessels. 

Currently, PortMiami welcomes approximately 750,000 Royal Caribbean passengers annually, representing about 15 percent of its overall passenger traffic. Once the new cruise terminal is completed, it is anticipated that Royal Caribbean will generate at least 1.8 million passengers at PortMiami – representing no less than 30 percent of the port’s projected passenger traffic.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) is a global cruise vacation company that owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisières de France, as well as TUI Cruises through a 50 percent joint venture. Together, these six brands operate a combined total of 47 ships with an additional twelve on order. They operate diverse itineraries around the world that call on approximately 490 destinations on all seven continents. Additional information can be found on, www.rclcorporate.com.  

Avoid Online Scams At Rio Olympics: Dangers of Free Wi-Fi




NordVPN explains security protocols and VPN service benefits to travelers using public Wi-Fi networks



Rio Olympics, taking place from August 5 to 21, will draw more than 10,000 athletes from around the world and hundreds of thousands of fans and spectators.

While Rio is preparing, it is important that everyone who travels to see the Olympics prepares to stay safe.  One of the most important things for travelers who go to crowded public events is not only protecting their wallets and other belongings from pickpockets, but also protecting their online privacy, especially when using public Wi-Fi - whether at a stadium, on the street, at a hotel, a restaurant or the airport.

Free wireless networks, enjoyed by almost every Olympics participant or spectator, provide us with easy access to the Internet service, but are not able to offer security in most cases, since public Wi-Fi can be hacked-into very easily. 

For example, hackers are now using sophisticated technology, such as sniffers - a software designed to intercept and decode data when it is transmitted over a network. Wireless sniffers are specifically created for capturing data on wireless networks. A full stadium of people who are using free Wi-Fi is a goldmine of stolen identities for a hacker.

The most common threat, however, is a hacker positioning himself as a hotspot. When that happens, a Wi-Fi user will be sending their information to a hacker, and that could include credit card information, all emails, and any other sensitive information they might be transmitting. This is extremely easy for a hacker to do, as Wi-Fi spots rarely require authentication to establish a connection.

The best and most effective way for any traveler to protect their data is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network). A VPN service encrypts all the traffic flow between the Internet and a device thus hiding user¹s IP address.

How to choose a VPN?

Choose a VPN that is easy to use. For example, NordVPN has recently launched its first Mac and Android apps geared towards everyday Internet user, who cares about privacy and security online. How does it work? Log in (the first time only) and press the ON button. The app will then choose the fastest server to connect to, in a country of your choice.That¹s all it takes to hide your IP address and to start safe browsing.

Also, beware of free VPN service providers. Free VPN providers do not necessarily provide highest quality security measures. A VPN service needs to pay for the server maintenance, staffing and operational costs and in itself cannot be free. ŒFree VPNs¹ typically rely on third party advertisers to cover the costs. Often they are free proxy services, marketed as a VPN service, when in fact proxies are not encrypted (they just change your IP address, but do not hide/encrypt it).

Besides protecting your safety and security when you are traveling, a VPN can also help you access geo-blocked sites. For example, social media sites such as Whatsapp occasionally get blocked in Brazil. Using a VPN would allow you to bypass these blocks by setting your connection to another country and appearing to be in the U.S., for example. In addition, you can stream as if you were in USA or UK: with a VPN, you can access most streaming services just as if you were in the U.S. - and that includes Netflix, Spotify, Pandora, Hulu, YouTube with local restrictions and so on.


VPNs are quickly gaining popularity in the world of tightening online security, and soon using a VPN will be as common as going online. Besides using a VPN, travelers should use antivirus and anti-spyware and automatically update their software.

To find out more, visit www.nordvpn.com
ABOUT NORDVPN

NordVPN is the world¹s most advanced VPN service provider that is more security oriented than most VPN services. It offers double VPN encryption, anti DDoS & Tor Over VPN services. It has just launched a new NordVPN Mac, Android and iOS Apps that provide a unique algorithm, allowing to automatically connect to the fastest server. The product is very user friendly, offers one of the best prices on the market, has over 550 servers worldwide and is P2P friendly. One of the key features of NordVPN is zero log policy. www.nordvpn.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Destination Weddings Attract Couples To Dominican Republic #GoDomRep

Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

With eight international airports throughout the country and nonstop
 flights available on multiple airlines from the United States, Dominican
 Republic offers an ease of access that makes it a natural selection for
 couples planning a destination wedding. World-class properties offer
 on-site, personal wedding planners to handle all of the day-of details,
 making sure any wedding day is worry-free.

"Weddings in Dominican Republic are truly magical, offering couples a variety of settings to celebrate
 the start of their lives together," said Magaly Toribio, marketing advisor for the Dominican Republic
 Ministry of Tourism. "Our hotels, tour operators and wedding vendors are adept at anticipating the
needs of family travel groups, making Dominican Republic a wonderful destination for wedding groups
 both big and small."

What's your wedding style? Whether you've always pictured a sunset ceremony on the beach or
 dreamed of a traditional wedding in a church that's rich with historic beauty, Dominican Republic
 has something to fit every couple's personal taste and budget.

Old-World Charm: A destination wedding doesn't have to mean forfeiting the formality of a
 traditional ceremony. Marry at the ornateCatedral Primada de America in the first city of the
 new world, the Colonial City within Dominican Republic's capital of Santo Domingo. Cobblestone
 streets harken back to the colonial days to create memories that will last a lifetime. Also in the
 Colonial City, Iglesia de las Mercedes is a majestic church built more than 500 years ago that
 provides the perfect backdrop for an elegant Catholic ceremony. You can also plan your nuptials
 in Convento de los Dominicos, a 16th-century building, or book your big day at the Museo de
 las Casas Reales, a museum that once served as the Spanish governor's royal court. For historic
 charm outside of the capital, Catholic couples can say "I do" in Altos de Chavón, a replica
 of a 16th-century Mediterranean village in the La Romana province. You'll walk down the aisle in
 a ceremony in St. Stanislaus Church while overlooking the Chavón River.

Natural Nuptials: Eco-conscious couples will find their own slice of paradise in Dominican Republic.
 The Samaná Peninsula, known for lush, unspoiled nature and magnificent beaches, takes couples
 off the beaten path and into one of Dominican Republic's hidden natural gems. Lovebirds can plan
 a wedding in quiet Las Galeras, located at the tip of the peninsula and home to numerous small
 hotels and bed & breakfasts—perfect for an intimate wedding or honeymoon escape. For couples
 seeking a beachside city vibe, Las Terrenas delivers, offering a mix of distinctive restaurants and
 bars alongside beautiful white sand beaches dotted with picturesque pastel wooden fishing boats.
 After the wedding, escape to Los Haitises National Park, located just south of the Samaná
 Peninsula. Enjoy a boat tour of the mangroves and find yourself surrounded by countless species
 of birds, plants and mammals. On Dominican Republic's north coast, thePuerto Plata province also
 offers unique natural beauty of its very own, set against a backdrop of mountains and miles of
 coastline. The area is a hub for thrill-seekers, and adventurous couples will fall in love all over
 again while climbing the 27 Waterfalls of Damajuagua and cascading back down by jumping off
cliffs or sliding down water chutes.

Seaside Sophistication: Find your fairytale all-inclusive in Punta Cana, which was named
the #1 destination in the Caribbean in 2016 by the TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Awards.
 Azure waters and powder-white beaches bring weddings here to life, with hotels offering packages
designed to fit all tastes and budgets. Wedding planners help couples work within their budgets to
 map out every detail, including day-of itineraries, flowers, menus and even hair and makeup.
 Beyond Punta Cana, couples flock to La Romana for chic accommodations along the water.
 Casa de Campo is a favorite getaway among celebrities, and for good reason—the resort and
 villa complex gives couples exclusive access to La Romana's marina, along with gourmet
 restaurants, world-class golf courses and beautiful private beaches. Just off the coast, day
 trips to Saona Island and Catalina Island offer secluded paradise for honeymooners and newlyweds.

Cosmopolitan Chic: Plan a stylish wedding in the vibrant capital city of Santo Domingo.
 The JW Marriott Santo Domingo is located in the city's high-end shopping district. Work
 with an entire team of wedding specialists for a memorable and luxurious day at this trendy
 destination, where you and your guests will also be able to take advantage of close proximity to
 the commercial district, the colonial zone and the airport. Hotel el Embajador is also conveniently
 located in the capital, just a stone's throw away from museums, shops and restaurants. Couples
 can work with an on-site planner to map out every detail of their special day, planning a ceremony
 or reception in the hotel's elegant indoor or outdoor spaces. In Santo Domingo's historic
 Colonial City, the Hostal Nicolas de Ovando offers a romantic ambiance for both weddings and
 honeymoons. Once the home of Santo Domingo's founder, the hotel dates back to 1502 and
provides the perfect combination of history, charm and upscale amenities.

There's no need for cold feet when planning your dream wedding in Dominican Republic.
 For more information on wedding and honeymoon destinations in the country and for details
about wedding paperwork and requirements, visit www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.

About Dominican RepublicSurrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean
Sea on the south, our lush tropical and paradisiacal country boasts nearly 1,000 miles of coastline,
 magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here
 you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse
 accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy
 or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.
Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring
 astounding nature, intriguing history and rich cultural experiences like music, art and festivals, plus
 uniquely Dominican specialties such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue, amber and larimar.

Dominican Republic features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen
 escape for celebrities, couples and families alike.  Visit Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism's
official website at: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
Download the Go Dominican Republic App, available in the App Store and Google Play
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @GoDomRep Like us on Facebook GoDominicanRepublic

Marriott Courtyard Hotels Debuts First Hotel In The Bahamas In Nassau


Former Sunset Resort Nassau reopens as the Courtyard Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach


Marriott International announced the July 1 opening of the first Courtyard hotel in Nassau, Bahamas: the 112-room Courtyard Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach. Formerly the Sunset Resort Nassau, the waterfront resort on the palm-fringed sands of Junkanoo Beach is located just a short stroll away from the cruise port, famous Cable Beach, excellent shopping and dining options and top local businesses. The hotel is managed by Urgo Hotels & Resorts and owned by Sunset Equities Ltd.
“We’re excited to introduce the Courtyard Hotels brand to the Bahamas market,” said Donald J. Urgo, Jr., Senior Vice President, General Counsel for Urgo Hotels & Resorts. “The Courtyard Nassau’s location, just steps from Junkanoo Beach punctuates the resurgence and revitalization of downtown Nassau.”
The five-story Courtyard Nassau is stylishly furnished with a distinctly Bahamian vibe and color palette. The spacious 112 guest rooms and suites feature luxurious bedding, modern lounge furnishings and large work areas, accommodating the needs of travelers of all types. The hotel also boasts a resort-style pool and sun deck, a fully equipped state-of-the-art fitness center, The Bistro, the brand’s signature restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, and a lobby bar and lounge for evening cocktails. Complimentary high-speed internet is available throughout the property. The refreshing lobby concept is contemporary, open and stylish, with colorful, bright and welcoming spaces where guests can check e-mail, gather informally with colleagues or simply relax.
“Courtyard Hotels has become a very popular brand in the Caribbean and is expanding rapidly,” said Tim Sheldon, President of the Caribbean & Latin America at Marriott International, Inc. “It offers excellent value in the mid-tier market that is currently underserved. The hotels adapt well to the lifestyle needs of both domestic and international guests.”
Courtyard Nassau’s choice location near top local businesses makes it an ideal stop for business travelers. Its beachfront setting is equally well-suited for family reunions and birthday parties, and the resort’s well-equipped boardroom hosts 15 for executive meetings.
Courtyard Nassau is located on West Bay Street, Nassau, Bahamas. Bookings can be made now, online or by phone, for stays as of Friday, July 1. For more information or to book a stay, call the hotel directly at 800-406-7910 or toll-free at 1-888-236-2427 or visithttp://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nascy-courtyard-nassau-downtown-junkanoo-beach/.

Courtyard by Marriott
Courtyard by Marriott features hotels with refreshing environments that help guests stay connected, productive and balanced while traveling.  Courtyard is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of the guests. The latest guest room design offers hybrid spaces that accommodate all aspects of a guests’ stay. With more than 1,000 properties in more than 45 countries, Courtyard has the most locations of any brand in the Marriott International portfolio. For more information or reservations, visitwww.courtyard.com or call Courtyard Nassau Downtown/Junkanoo Beach directly at 800-406-7910 or toll-free at 1-888-236-2427. Courtyard hotels proudly participate in the award-winning Marriott Rewards® frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay.

About Urgo Hotels & Resorts
Urgo Hotels is a Bethesda, Md.-based hotel company that develops, owns and/or operates 31 distinctive and unique hotels and resorts with an aggregate of more than 4,300 rooms in major markets and resorts in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The company develops, builds, and operates for its own account, and provides third-party management and asset management services. For more information about Urgo Hotels and Resorts please visit www.urgohotels.com.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Lufthansa Launches Internet Connectivity On Short- And Medium-Haul Flights





Green light from EASA: Supplemental Type Certificate issued for WiFi installation
In October 2016, the first Lufthansa short- and medium-haul aircraft will take off with broadband internet on board. Lufthansa’s entire A320 family fleet is expected to have the innovative technology installed by mid-2018. One key milestone has already been reached: Lufthansa Technik became the first MRO company in Europe to have received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from EASA. This allows Lufthansa to install a Ka-band antenna on the A320 family, such as the A319, A320, and A321 models. The STC serves to verify that the modifications to the aircraft (hardware or software) conform to the design specifications stipulated by EASA. These specifications ensure aircraft’s continued airworthiness.

The first aircraft was equipped with the technology in June. In the coming weeks, the onboard system will be tested for functionality and stability. Lufthansa passengers will be able to use the new internet service starting in October. Other Lufthansa Group airlines will follow at a later date.

The future service from Lufthansa and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on short- and medium-haul flights through Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. Passengers will be able to access the internet using their own mobile devices with Wi-Fi. In addition to basic surfing and email, passengers will also be able to use the internet for more complex purposes, such as streaming video. At a later date, passengers will be able to use their cell phones for SMS texting and data transfer via their own mobile accounts.


With its many years of experience in the aircraft modification sector, Lufthansa Technik is responsible for installing all systems and components as well as the installation of the works required to comply with aeronautical and statutory regulations. In Europe, this was the first successful installation involving the GX communications network and the Honeywell-designed Ka-band antenna. To install the system, electrical and structural modifications were required both inside and outside the aircraft cabin. All modifications were developed and approved by Lufthansa Technik’s licensed development unit. The installed components were integrated in the cabin infrastructure so that they are virtually invisible to passengers and easy to operate by the cabin crew. The work can be completed in four days or during regular maintenance layovers. 

Lufthansa Systems provides the required IT infrastructure onboard the aircraft. This includes network operations as well as the innovative FlyNet portal for passengers.

Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik have also established a long-term partnership with global satellite operator Inmarsat in order to offer a modern, multifunctional onboard IT platform with broadband internet access to the market. Both the Lufthansa Group, as well as airlines around the world, will benefit from this strong partnership through a wide range of services.

Lufthansa carried out the world’s first scheduled flight with broadband internet access on January 15, 2003. Despite its growing popularity among passengers, the technically reliable service had to be discontinued in 2006 because the Connexion by Boeing satellites ceased commercial operations. Since December 2010, Lufthansa has once again been the first airline to provide broadband internet access on intercontinental flights. Since June 2015, FlyNet has been available on all 107 long-haul aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet. Lufthansa operates the world’s largest internet-connected long-haul fleet.

About Lufthansa
One of the world's largest and most prestigious airlines, Lufthansa, serving 21 North American gateways, currently flies to 198 destinations in 77 countries. The air carrier offers hubs in Frankfurt and Munich. With the Lufthansa Group acquisition of Austrian Airlines, SWISS and a stake in Brussels Airlines, additional hubs include Vienna, Brussels, and Zurich. The entire Group flew a total of 108 million passengers in 2015 and currently serves 261 destinations in 101 countries worldwide. Lufthansa, along with its Group members and Star Alliance partners, serves over 1,300 destinations worldwide. An industry innovator, Lufthansa has long been committed to environmental care and sustainability, operating one of the most technologically-advanced and fuel-efficient fleets in the world. Its long-haul fleet to and from North America includes the Boeing 747-8 and the Airbus A380—the industries’ two most environmentally-friendly passenger aircraft. Lufthansa is the largest European operator of the A380 and was also the launch customer for the new Boeing 747-8. The Lufthansa Group currently has 259 new aircraft on order worth €35 billion in list prices, to be delivered by 2025. Known for its premium services, Lufthansa continues to build new or upgrade existing lounge facilities across its worldwide network. In 2014, Lufthansa introduced its new Premium Economy Class which offers further comfort and more personal space. Lufthansa’s entire long-haul fleet now features all new onboard products in each class– bringing Lufthansa one step closer to becoming the first five-star airline in the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, the entire Lufthansa long-haul fleet is equipped with its onboard broadband wireless Internet service, FlyNet. For more information or reservations, visit LH.com.

The Latest News From The Dominican Republic #GoDomRep





  • Dominican Republic Ranks First in Caribbean Tourism Quality | Dominican Republic took the number one spot on the 2016 Caribbean Tourism Quality Index, compiled by Resonance Consultancy.www.resonancereport.com

  • Tourists 50 and Older Flocking to Dominican Republic | Between January and May this year, tourists age 50+ made up 34.1 percent of tourists visiting the country, representing an 18.3 percent increase in 50+ visitors to the country over last year. The 50+ group was narrowly surpassed by visitors in the 21-to-35 age range, who represented 34.2 percent of total tourists visiting between January and May. www.bancentral.gov.do

  • Restoration Plans for Historic Route Around Santo Domingo’s Colonial City | The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) presented a master plan to renovate and preserve the touristic route surrounding the Colonial City, a historic pocket located within the capital of Santo Domingo. Improvements will include the restoration and preservation of the historic wall that runs through the city, connecting it to the city’s touristic route and allowing visitors to see how the city operated during the colonial era. 

  • Punta Cana Resort to Become Adults-Only | The Luxury Bahia Principe Esmeralda Don Pablo Collection hotel in Punta Cana will become an adults-only facility effective January 2017. www.bahia-principe.com
     Explore upcoming events in Dominican Republic: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com/events/upcoming

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Everything You Need To Know About Traveling To Shanghai Disneyland

Shanghai Disney
Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
It turns out all the hype that's surrounded Shanghai Disneyland since it broke ground five years ago was well-founded: the park is gorgeous and packed with exclusive attractions, like a pirate-themed "land" called treasure cove and Little Mermaid-themed pools. It's all more than enough to convince even casual Disney fans to hop on a 13-hour flight. 
But before you pack your bag or planning your meet-and-greets, read on what you need to know before heading to Shanghai's new Disney park:

Before you leave:

First things first: obtain a visa.

If you’re an American citizen, you’ll need a recent passport as well as a Chinese Visa, which costs around $140. It is recommended to apply for your Visa about a month before you leave, but Chinese consulates are not available in every city, so it’s best to get everything prepared well in advance of submission.

Preload your phone with necessary apps and prepare for limited communication.

Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google, as well as Gmail, are blocked within mainland China. You can bypass the firewall, but it requires setting up a VPN for both your phone and requisite websites, which is cumbersome but inexpensive. Ordering a Chinese SIM card in advance for your phone (if your device meets the requirements) is helpful, as is obtaining a mobile WiFi device if it does not. You can also handle this at the airport, but it may be more costly and time-consuming. Sign yourself and family members at home up on WeChat in advance, too, which offers free multimedia messaging while abroad.

Pack absolutely everything you may need.

The resort is located in an industrial area, and medicine, amenities, and other must-haves will not be readily available. There are a few makeup and beauty stores in Disneytown, but no drugstores, so make sure all your necessities are in your suitcase.

If you have dietary restrictions or picky eaters, bring breakfast snacks.

Disney is always incredibly accommodating for any kind of food allergy or restriction, but only a small fraction of the food at Shanghai Disneyland is Western. There are familiar foods for lunch and dinner, sure, but breakfast can prove to be the most challenging for anyone on a specified diet. Pack small snacks and granola bars to have on hand, especially if you have little ones who won’t take kindly to the food, and keep a stash back at the room for late-night eats once the hotel cafes close.

Stay On-Property

If you’re visiting Shanghai Disneyland for more than one day, which you should, stay on-property. The cost for Toy Story Hotel and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel are much less thanstateside hotels, but both are remarkably nice.

Bookend Your Trip

If you want to experience the rest of Shanghai as well, make sure Shanghai Disneyland is a bookend of your trip and not in the middle. The airport is much closer to Disneyland than it is to the heart of the city, making it convenient for arriving or departing flights.

Once you arrive:

If you’re heading to Disneyland straight from the airport, have the address of your resort, in Mandarin, printed out on paper.

Because the park is so new, taxi drivers may not know exactly where it is by name. Be sure to have local currency for the fare, and, upon landing, tuck the kept half of the immigration form you receive on the plane into your passport holder—and don’t lose it! You’ll need it when you come back through prior to boarding your return flight.

When visiting the parks, keep an ID on you at all times.

Shanghai Disneyland tickets are non-transferrable, and though it’s in the fine print, proof of identity may be required for entry.

If you’re making a day trip from Shanghai, take a train instead of a taxi.

It is a lengthy journey most cabs will not want to or know how to make. Disneyland is far from Shanghai’s city center—over an hour by train, with a short walk to the gate—but convenient, as “Disney Resort” is the final stop on Line 11. Try to avoid rush hour, which can be quite hectic, and download the Explore Shanghai Metro app in advance, which offers easy directions in English throughout the system.

Leave enough time to get home from the parks.

Be sure to stay informed about evening train schedules, and if you're staying off-property, buy a round-trip ticket from the get-go. Ticket sales stop at a certain time, for which there is even an overhead announcement reminding guests to do just this.

Jet-lagged? Coffee is easy to find, if you know where to look.

Unlike stateside parks, there’s no proper Starbucks inside the gates, but there is a massive one hiding to the side of World of Disney within Disneytown. (If you’re approaching from the Steamboat Mickey fountain, as most do, keep walking with the store on your right.) The hotels makes a mean cappuccino as well; you can find your caffeine fix at Toy Story Hotel’s Sunnyside Market or Ballet Café within Shanghai Disneyland Hotel.

Shop at every single store you find.

Different items are carried at each hotel, in Disneytown and within the parks, and you’ll want to spot them all. Be sure to visit Lotso Shop for Buzz Lightyear bobbleheads, Tinker Bell Gifts for princess-themed jewelry, Trend-D for feminine Disney-themed purses and Whistle Stop Shop for monogrammed ears.

You’ll want to spend at least one afternoon—or meal—within Disneytown.

The dining options available are vast, and all are incredibly high-quality, providing some of the best food throughout Shanghai Disneyland property. There are the regular shopping and photo ops—Lego’s first Asia boutique is here, naturally—and even an all-Mandarin production of The Lion King, which is beautiful, despite being lost in translation.

But there’s a whole section of Disneytown that’s very easy to miss.

It’s called Lakeshore, and it’s separate from the main strip next to park gates, hanging out over Wishing Star Park’s massive body of water. It contains The BOATHOUSE, one of Florida’s new signature restaurant, as well as a few shoe stores, toy shops and a Korean beauty outpost.

Be more patient than usual.  

Even though it’s Disney, and experiences at other foreign parks may be different, don’t expect all of Shanghai Disneyland Resort to be English-friendly, as on average, only one of every three staff members speak the language. Buses on-property can be a bit tricky to navigate, so make sure you’re in the right line, in the right place, whenever you’re unsure.

Upon your departure:

Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport.

The language barrier at the Pudong Airport can be immense, and some flights booked through partner airlines will not allow guests to fully check-in online, so plan to leave about four hours before your international flight. Double check your terminal before you depart the hotel, and check in advance about taxis, which may not be as readily available as they are in the city center.

Flying elsewhere within China before you go home?

Be prepared to wait. It’s common knowledge that flights within the country frequently run behind schedule.

Be aware of China Eastern Airline’s idiosyncrasies.

It’s the most popular airline within China, but can provide for a much different experience than American companiesPhones cannot be used in airplane mode at all throughout the duration of the flight, as is the case with portable batteries, and requested seats through their stateside partner, Delta, were not honored upon check-in. Despite already having been through security, my flight also required all water bottles to be emptied out prior to boarding. There were multiple meals offered, and the in-flight entertainment provided plenty of English language selections, but the differences are noteworthy for American travelers.