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Why You Should Visit Copenhagen -- 7 Favourite Spots From an Expat

After over two years of living in the heart of Copenhagen, I still discover new things about this amazing city every day. I love it here and if it's up to me, I would make everyone visit Copenhagen. This is why I write this blog post today - to show the beautiful sites of Denmark's capital city.
Here are my 7 favourite places in beautiful Copenhagen and 11 pictures that will make you put Copenhagen on your bucket list right about now :)



Islands Brygge

The new minimalistic and futuristic buildings at Islands Brygge never fails to amaze me. I love everything about this area, the busy sunny days when half of Copenhagen takes a dip in the canals or the the unique bicycle highway, where bikes are rushing down.

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To be honest, sometimes I just go to Island Brygge to imagine how awesome it would be, if one day, I could live in one of the awesome, new apartments with the view towards the water. How amazing would that be?



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Christianshavn

The canals, the beautiful and colourful buildings and small narrow streets. It is one of the prettiest corners in Copenhagen. Moreover, if you are not afraid of heights and a few hundred steps, you can walk up the Church of Our Saviour (Danish: Vor Frelsers Kirke) to get an amazing view over the city (on a sunny and not so windy day would be best choice).


You can see more pictures from Christianshavn in one of my older blog posts here.


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Nyhavn
Of course Nyhavn can't be missed on my list of favourite places - it is THE iconic spot of Copenhagen! If it would be up to me, this is the most Scandinavian looking place. The pictures itself will tell you why it is a MUST visit in Copenhagen.

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Botanical Garden

No matter which time of the year, it is always a good idea to take a walk through the park. You can escape Copenhagen's city life at the Botanical Garden, located very central at Nørreport station. No matter if it is sunny and you can sit down and enjoy the colourful flowers and plants or colder, where you can sneak into the tropical house - it is perfect for any weather and season!

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Amager Strand
I went to Amager Beach the first time during winter morning and it was beautiful. So calm, so empty (and if you are dressed up, it is not even cold). The ocean always fascinated me, but Amager Strand has something special about it. I don't know if it is the gigantic Øresund Bridge you can see far away, which connects Sweden and Denmark, or the airplanes that are landing close by


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The Lakes
The Lakes (Danish: Søerne) in Copenhagen are a row of three rectangular, articficial lakes in the heart of Copenhagen, from Vesterbro to Østerbro. No matter which season or time of the day - it is always a beautiful place. In winter, when the lakes are frozen, people are ice skating on it - I haven't tried it since it seems quite dangerous to me , but nonetheless the view of the frozen lake is beautiful.

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Amalienborg
Of course, if you are already here - you have to visit the Queen! Amalienborg is basically on the way to the infamous Little Mermaid and you shouldn't miss it. Amalienborg is also known for the Royal Guards, (Danish: Den Kongelige Livgarde). Every day you can experience the changing of the guards, which takes place at noon. Next to the palace is Frederik's Church, popularly known as The Marble Church - which in my opinion, one of the prettiest architecture in Copenhagen.

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I hope you enjoyed my small gallery with the prettiest places in Copenhagen,you can follow my gallery on Instagram to see more. I usually update it daily with pictures from my Danish life. After reading this post, it is definitely time for you to book a flight and come visit Copenhagen :)



Read about more spots on my blog metropolife.net

Vi ses, Tuni ! :)

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Carry On Bags Good, Lenovo Laptop, Not So Much

Do you really want to check that bag?

Checked bag fees provide $25 worth of reasons to pack light. If you can carry onto the airplane all you'll need for your next trip, you'll not only save money, you'll be assured the bag will arrive when you do. A new study from the aviation technology company, SITA shows that six and a half of every 1,000 checked bags fail to arrive at their proper destination so the odds are with us. Still, on my last few trips, I squandered more than an hour waiting for my stuff at the claim carousel.

Either of the suitcases I carried with me, one on a trip to Italy, the other to Australia, and both on United, could have fit in the overhead bins. That's the first reason I'm enthusiastic about the two I'm reviewing here. As for the Lenovo Yoga 900 laptop, well that's a travel-unfriendly product, I'll save for last.

The ECBC was super roomy

After raving about the ECBC knapsack last year, the company let me test drive its 22 inch Falcon Wheeled Duffle.  My month-long trip to some out of the way places in Australia required clothing for several different climates and activities and a small stash of gifts for folks I would be seeing with during my stay. Super capacious, I had no trouble getting everything in. The large zipper pull made it easy to close without breaking fingers in the process.

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I did a direct comparison of the ECBC with a similarly-sized Pacsafe wheeled carry-on. The Toursafe EXP 21 model is also roomy and equally easy to close with large tabs on the zip pulls. Where it differs from the Falcon is that it is designed for travelers worried about pilfering or theft. When closed, the Pacsafe zipper tabs lock together and slide over a bar that then gets covered by a fabric panel. No one is easily going to get into the compartments on this bag. The locking tabs also prevent the inadvertent sliding open of the zipper, which I noticed on my ECBC Falcon. Since it only happened once, I can't say for sure, it might have been traveler error.

Zippers lock under this flap of impenetrable material

On the downside, it takes longer to reopen the Pacsafe once you've closed it up if you then remember you need something stashed inside. I also found the Toursafe's flaccid side panels made it more difficult to pack than the ECBC, which had a more rigid case-like structure.

Both bags have a large, padded exterior pocket (locking on the Toursafe, TSA friendly on the ECBC) for placing laptops, tablets and other gear for working-from-the-road. Toursafe includes a cable lock so you can leave the bag unattended but locked up. How brilliant is that? The ECBC includes a 5V/1A portable charger in a self-pocket so you can give your gizmos a charge while they're packed.

Both bags are two-wheeled, not four, and rolled surprisingly easily considering how much I had in them, on all kinds of terrain. Both come in colors other than black, separating them visually on the claim belt. But then again, we're not checking these bags are we?

Laptop can go through TSA just like this

On my trips I tucked my Lenovo Yoga 900 laptop into the front pocket. This is a solution I like as it takes the weight off my back and puts it on wheels.

But the laptop! Oh my!

For years I've been working and traveling with a Lenovo computer. My affection and appreciation for this rough-and-tumble laptop with the stamina and features suitable to using it full time as a desktop reached its zenith with the X220, a laptop with an ingenious hinge that enabled me to use it as a tablet for reading documents, or working in confined spaces, like on an airplane.

The slim and stylish Yoga 900, I have now doubles down on that convertibility with fancy watch band-inspired, stainless steel hinges, weighs considerably less with a wider and more beautiful monitor. I've grown accustomed to its ginormous 213 gigabytes of storage and the intel Core i7 processor that really makes doing anything on the computer rapid quick.

The Yoga 900 looks great

But like the hunky boyfriend who is irresistible in the early stages, my shiny Yoga lost its luster quickly.

I'll gloss over the fact that the first Yoga 900 that arrived was infected with a terrible virus that caused it to freeze at the most inopportune times.  The machine was quickly replaced with apologies from the PR folks at Lenovo.

Other issues are, unfortunately, built into the design.

It has a scant three USB slots, one of which is used for the power cord, so when working in the office it has effectively only two slots which are gone once I turn the laptop into a desktop and add the auxiliary keyboard, mouse and printer.

The solution to the shortage of USB ports would be a docking station but Lenovo doesn't offer one. Which makes it even more curious that one usb slot is dedicated for the power supply.  And this leads to the oddest design decision of all.

Plug must be taped to the wall

Lenovo has redesigned the power pack creating a wide, heavy, 2 pronged brick that can be used to charge any portable device. The problem is the size and weight of it. It is so wide that it eats the outlet space on either side. It is so heavy , it often falls onto the floor if plugged into a wall outlet. I've taken to traveling with strapping tape so I can tape the brick into position over the outlet.

The silver matte cover and black textured interior are easy on the eyes as is the beveled sides. Again form separates from function, it is extremely difficult to pry the two sides apart. Opening one's laptop should not be a test of manual dexterity.

All of this I have learned to deal with but I've had the laptop for six months now and the keyboard continues to flummox.  While some reviewers love it, I cannot get get away from the double and triple letters it inserts every seeentence. (Intentional, but seeee what I mean?) The touch screen also seems to have a mind of its own.

So why review a dud product? Over the past decade, I've raved about Lenovo for offering the best and sturdiest laptops for road warriors. Regrettably, that's changed. Either of the suitcases above are a good choice for carrying the laptop you settle on, but my advice is to steer away from the Yoga 900.

 

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25 travel hacks to make the most of summer vacation

Heading out of town this summer? Chances are, you are.

Simplify your travel planning and take your money-saving to the next level. Whether you're headed down the road or across the pond, don't forget to pack these awesome travel hacks from Cheapflights.com.

Don't sleepover: Save on accommodations by booking overnight flights and sleeper cars on overnight trains. Booking travel this way, particularly for multi-city tours, means you not only save money on hotels and home shares, but, if you're a power sleeper, you also arrive at your destination rested and ready-to-go.

Cash in on freebies: Take advantage of freebies - from free snacks and headsets on airplanes to shampoo, conditioner, and soap in hotels. Not only will you lighten the load and have extra room in your carry-on luggage, but you will also save money by not having to buy these little luxuries.

Take a sample: Can't live without your favorite beauty products? The next time you stock up on makeup, perfume and the like, ask for free samples, which are conveniently travel sized or smaller. If you can't score sample sizes of your favorite products, carry a small amount of concealer or lotion in contact lens cases.

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Make room with minis. (Image: Maria Morri, my new isadora 5 via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Don't roam: Avoid racking up data roaming charges on your cell phone by only using Wi-Fi. Check your phone settings to ensure "data roaming" is turned off, put your phone on "airplane mode" to prevent getting charged for incoming calls and use free messaging apps like WhatsApp while on Wi-Fi. You can even navigate data free by using offline maps like CityMaps2Go and the hidden offline maps feature on the Google Maps app. To find the hidden feature: make sure to download the latest version of the app, connect to Wi-Fi before your trip, type in the destination address and then search"OK maps" (without the quotation marks). The app will then cache all the map data that is currently on the screen.

Block the sun: Sunscreen is often exorbitantly priced at beach destinations, so invest in carry-on friendly sunscreen like a mess-free sunscreen stick. You can toss it in your carry-on too, which is handy if you're looking to avoid checking a bag.

Get carded: Even if you've graduated from college, bring your student ID and/or an International Student Identity Card to save money on everything from museum entrance fees to clothing. If you're not a student, you can still get discounts. Anyone 30-years-old or younger can get an International Youth Travel Card, and full-time teachers or professors can get an International Teacher Identity Card. If you're a retiree or a veteran, mention it and bring your ID as many places offer discounts to senior citizens and veterans.

Eliminate odors: Don't waste leftover hotel soap. Throw it in your dirty laundry bag, so the dirty clothes don't stink up your suitcase. A dryer sheet works well, too.

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Duct tape fixes pretty much everything. (Image: PhotoAtelier, Greg Moreland Packs His Bag via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Fix everything with duct tape: Savvy travelers already know to pack an empty bottle to fill up with water after going through airport security (you save money and the environment), but take it to the next level. Wrap a few lengths of duct tape around the bottle for emergency use later. Duct tape can be a lifesaver, from repairing holes in your suitcase to mending broken travel gear.

Pack Power: Charging devices on the go is not always easy (even if you follow our guide to US airport charging stations). Pack a small power strip (and a converter if you're headed abroad) to charge your devices. Plus, you're likely to make new travel friends eager to charge their devices, too.

Get deals and steals: Use apps and websites like Groupon and LivingSocial to find deals, from discounted attraction tickets to happy hours. Grab copies of local magazines and newspapers at the hotel, tourism bureau and local newsstands to find out what events are on and score deals like a local. Before booking anything, do a quick online search for promo codes to save on travel packages, hotel rooms, restaurants, attractions and more.

Get free tickets: Most monuments, museums, and attractions offer free entry once a week or month. Research each place you plan to visit in advance (the easiest way: go on the site's website, look for the hours of operation and see if there are days when free or discounted entry is offered). Then, time your visits to coincide with when admission is free or greatly reduced.

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Eat like a local. (Image: Porsche Brosseau, groceries via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Eat cheap: Hit the grocery store to stock up on bottled water, snacks and picnic lunches. Not only will you get to eat like a local, but you will save money, too. If you want to eat at a pricey Michelin-starred restaurant, go at lunchtime when you'll get the same high quality food and service but often at a fraction of the price.

Get rewarded: Use airline, hotel, car rental and credit card rewards programs to cash in on upgraded and free stays, free meals and more. Participating in reward programs also helps you rack up more rewards to save on future travel. Airline credit cards often include free checked bags too so, if you're a loyal flier and want the freedom to pack freely, consider signing up for a card from your favorite flight provider.

Be a planner or procrastinator: Book way in advance (six months or more) or last minute. Travelers can save big on plane tickets when booking early when inventory is high; however, it's a gamble because flight costs can increase or decrease as the departure date approaches. It's an imperfect science, but one way to see if booking early will pay off is to go through the booking process and use the seat selection option to see how full or empty the plane is. If there are many seats left, you may want to hold off and see if the price declines at all. If it's mostly full or you're traveling at popular times like the holidays or school vacation weeks, book as soon as you can. Be flexible, not only with your travel dates but with when you book your travel. Rates can change daily and even from one hour to the next.

Cruise your way to savings: Cruise ship companies often reward travelers who book early with free upgrades, on-board spending allowances and more. The same goes for last-minute travelers as the cruise ship companies are eager to fill any empty rooms. Repositioning cruises, one-way routes traveled by cruise ships as they move seasonally from one region to another, can be a great bargain, particularly when the cruise line includes the airfare in the package deal.

Don't wait: Find a plane ticket price that seems too good to be true? Buy now and think later. Most airlines will give you a free refund within 24 hours of booking if you need to cancel. This will give you enough time to mull over and confirm your travel plans - just be sure to check the airline or travel booking website's refund policies before booking. When in doubt, call the airline or travel website before booking to review the refund policy.

Don't fly direct: Compare the prices of a non-stop plane ticket with connecting flights, as that often can help you save significant money. The same goes when booking a multi-city tour. Booking "open jaw" tickets, a series of flights that fly to multiple cities, may give travelers the chance to see an extra place for the same price. Adding in a layover, a multi-hour stop in between connecting flights, can also afford the chance to spend a day in a new place. For trips to multiple destinations, consider booking a stopover for 24 hours or more, which gives you the chance to explore a destination before journeying onward.

Mix and match flights: Sometimes flying two different airlines and booking two one-way tickets is cheaper than booking one round-trip ticket on the same airline. Mixing and matching different flights on different airlines also has the added benefit of getting you better arrival and departure times.

Get a good seat: You already know which airline has the most legroom and how to book the best airline seat, but if you're deciding between similarly priced flights and one is on a Boeing 767, take that one. The Boeing 767 has fewer of the dreaded middle seats than other planes because it has a 2-3-2 configuration (two seats, an aisle, three seats, another aisle, and two more seats).

Buy foreign: Check prices on international airlines, if possible, as prices may be lower. A number of overseas airlines and new discount carriers are ramping up in North America and are vying hard for your business. Some will wow you will great deals. Others will have better amenities than domestic airlines, even in economy (hello hot towels, free pillows and blankets, newspapers, and even -- gasp -- full cans of soda).

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Pack this, not that. (Image: Drew Coffman, Blue Suitcase via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Pack light: Avoid checked baggage fees by skipping the toiletries and using techniques like our how to travel with one carry-on and leaving behind these 10 things. If your trip includes shopping, don't bring a second suitcase. Instead, wear old (or unloved) clothes that you can toss (or donate) at the end of your trip and replace with souvenirs and new clothes after a shopping spree.

Get a refund: Many countries like Canada, United Arab Emirates, and those in the European Union, add VAT (value-added tax) of up to 27 percent on goods, but many visitors are able to get that money back, provided they are organized. Save your receipts and apply for tax refunds at the airport. While it takes some organization and you will need to arrive at the airport a little earlier, you will walk away with refunded money to put toward your next trip.

Go left: Scientists aren't precisely sure why people are more likely to turn right than left (perhaps it's because more people are right-handed than left-handed), but when faced with the choice to go right or left at the airport security line, go left as those lines tend to be shorter.

Give yourself some space: Stressed about finding space in the overhead bins on the plane? Don't be. When planes are full, airlines often offer to check bags at the gate for free. Jump at the chance to gate check your bag for free. Not only will you not have to worry about finding a place to stow your bag, you will lighten the load, giving yourself more time to board. Plus, if you end up finding overhead bin space after checking your bag, you can put your carry-on there instead, freeing up valuable legroom (just don't tell the flight attendants we told you).

Search for one traveler to start: When booking travel for a group or family, even three or four people, start searching as if you are looking to travel as a single person. If there are just a few seats left at a lower fare, you can at least grab them and get a partial deal.

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Dining Out in Annapolis, Part 2

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The Blackwall Hitch
400 Sixth Street
410-263-3452
theblackwallhitch.com/annapolis

The odd name comes from a special mariner's knot used to hitch ships quickly and securely upon arriving from London's Blackwall Port at docks in Maryland and Virginia. Thus, there are maritime echoes in the décor of the Annapolis unit (the first, of three unirts, opened two years ago, owned by local James King), along with Colonial-style high-backed chairs, tufted black booths, and hanging Edison lights, with a large, well-lighted bar to the rear of the very comfortable main dining room.
Executive Chef Zachary Pope has a long résumé with the awards to prove his rep as a chef adept in a wide range of cuisines, with stints in Washington restaurants like Vidalia, Vintage Wine Bistro and Red Sage. The menu, therefore, offers fine Chesapeake fare like lump meat crab cakes with sweet-tangy roasted corn salsa, cherry pepper rémoulade and rosemary-scented French fries ($35) and wonderful shrimp and cheddar-laced grits with andouille sausage, tomatoes and a white wine sauce ($27), along with seared ahi tuna dusted with sesame seeds, served with seaweed salad, hot wasabi, Sriracha and avocado cream as an appetizer ($16) and six really exceptional fire-roasted flatbreads ($13-$16) that can be shared at the table.
Then there are a slew of salads--the one with steak and blue cheese is delicious--burgers and sandwiches, and main courses like succulent pork osso buco ($28). Right now the soft-shell crab season is in full swing.
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Like many restaurants around town, they serve the dense, mile-high Smith Island chocolate cake ($9), along with Key lime panna cotta with strawberry sauce ($9), and a warm pineapple upside down skillet cake with brown butter and caramel ($9), along with housemade chocolate truffles ($2.50 each).
The wine list is pretty extensive and includes many bottles under $50, though they should have more Maryland and Virginia wines on the list.
The Blackwall Hitch is, as I said, ambitious, but I found the quality of everything I tasted consistent and made from very fine ingredients. That, and a lively bar crowd and music, are what keeps the place packed with people willing to pay good money for very good food.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


IRON ROOSTER
12 Market Space
410-990-1600
ironroosterallday.com

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Iron Rooster proudly boast that it serves "Breakfast All Day," and many loyal patrons take advantage of that. I would most certainly join them any time over a big plate of fried chicken breast and waffles with cream gravy and very good stone-ground grits ($9.95), and the omelets make for a hearty meal from 7 a.m. onward. The eggs Benedict are sensationally good--there are five variants--and I, of course, went for the "Benny," with that sweet Maryland blue crab meat, a poached egg, tomatoes and micro greens atop an English muffin (a steal at $17.95). The breakfast taco ($13.95) includes scrambled eggs, fat pork belly, green chili salsa, pico de gallo, queso fresco and home fries ($13.95).
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There's a great deal more, all of it made fresh to order, including fine flaky biscuits, and the signature, much-too-sweet pop-tarts ($5.95). For supper you can have the smoked brisket chili ($4.95-$7.95), chicken pot pie ($22.95) that will feed two people, and a meatloaf of daunting proportions, with black pepper pan gravy and poached egg, fried leeks and broccoli ($21.95).
The colorful two-tiered eatery, with a lot of farmhouse décor and Mason jars on the wooden tables, is set right on the City Dock, so it's a swell place to take your time and watch the boats come and go along with the people.

Open Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 7 a.m.-8 p.m.


VIN 909
909 Bay Ridge Avenue
410-990-1846
vin909.com

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Set in a pillared, clapboard Sears Roebuck house in Annapolis' Eastport residential neighborhood, Vin 909 gives off the feeling that you're dropping in for a nice meal at a friend's home, in this case your new friends, owner Alex Manfredonia and chef Justin Moore, who opened this very popular restaurant five years ago. In cool weather there's a nice fireplace you can warm yourself at; in hot weather, a patio. Meals, as at home, are meant to be shared.
Vin 909 is a very green restaurant--they even recycle their oyster shells--earning the Annapolis Environmental Stewardship Certification and a Certificate from the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership Program. Ingredients are as organic and sustainable as possible, and they list their providers on the menu. The seafood just arrived that morning from the local boats. It's just a really nice, nice place, and big-hearted Alex couldn't be more amiable or happy to see you.
We dined out on the patio on a brilliant sea-blue afternoon, and we might have lingered for hours among people who were doing just that, sipping the last of a bottle of rosé wine, splitting a dessert, wondering when they can get back again.
Of course, wine plays a big part of the philosophy and the appeal here, with 90 well-priced labels on the list, and all beers are from either craft or micro breweries.
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Do not fail to order the lovely, warm, fresh-pulled mozzarella ($14), served in an almond-ricotta pesto with fried basil and "pearl" dots of balsamic vinegar. The pizzas, eight of them, are more like flatbreads and are addictive; we ordered two for three at our table: the simple Margherita ($12) and the "Fun Guy" ($16) with wild mushrooms, ramps, Taleggio cheese, arugula and a sprinkling of freshly picked thyme.
Although it's all too easy to order way too much, the food is light, intensely flavorful, and seems to lead naturally to having a dessert like chocolate pot de crème ($7) or butterscotch pudding ($7). The cooking seems simple, so it has to be perfect to impress guests the way it does.

Open for lunch Wed.-Fri., for dinner Tues.-Sun.

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The Walt Disney World Resort -- 2016 and Beyond

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955 he said, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." Well, the same thing can be said for Walt Disney World. All four parks have changes coming to them; albeit to different degrees.

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Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire - Artist Rendering

Image: The Walt Disney Company


Disney's Magic Kingdom
In the Magic Kingdom, the live castle show Dream Along with Mickey, which was a guest favorite since it debuted in September 2006, concluded in April of this year to make way for Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire. The old show featured the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto), as well as classic Disney characters such as Peter Pan, Maleficent, Cinderella, Snow White and others. The new show, which is scheduled to premiere on June 17, 2016, will also feature the Fab Five and a few classic Disney characters, as well as the addition of characters from animated classics, Frozen, Tangled and Princess and The Frog. The show, according to the Disney Blog, "Celebrates the unique stories of the citizens who make up this magical kingdom and the wonderful things that can happen when we try new things, go to new places and get to know new friends."

Disney's Epcot

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Soarin' Around the World - Artist Rendering

Image: The Walt Disney Company


Heading over to Epcot, Soarin', the younger sibling of Soarin' Over California at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, has been down since January 3rd of this year for an extensive refurbishment. The attraction is scheduled to open, with the addition of a third theatre, on May 27th for guests to take a "final flight" with the original film before the new film, Soarin' Around the World, debuts on June 17th.

Over at Epcot's World Pavilion, Norway is about to get a lot more popular with the addition of Frozen Ever After. This attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will open on June 21 and take guests on a boat tour through the kingdom of Arendelle. The Disney Parks Blog says, "Guests are first transported to the "Summer Snow Day" Celebration where Queen Elsa embraces her magical powers ... Next, guests will pass Troll Valley on their way up to the icy North Mountain to Queen Elsa's Ice Palace before their return trip to the Bay of Arendelle."

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First Look at Epcot's Frozen Ever After attraction

Photo: WDW News Today


Tom Corless, WDW News Today, recently posted some exclusive photos, taken with a cell phone, inside the attraction. These photos are believed to be from the Troll Valley section.

The sisters will also get a new home for meet-and-greets, Royal Sommerhus.

Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios are the two parks that will see the biggest changes in the next two years.

On May 27, Disney's Animal Kingdom will officially go from a daytime park (many still consider it a half-day park) to a park that guests can now experience well into the night.

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Disney's Animal Kingdom "Nocturnal Encounters"

Photo: The Walt Disney Company


Since many of the animals on the Kilimanjaro Safaris are nocturnal, guests would usually see them lying down in the shade or in back areas of the savannah. Now with the introduction of Nocturnal Encounters, guests will see animals in a very different setting. Disney has strategically placed lighting and other effects to create sunset and moon glow lighting that will showcase elephants, crocodiles, lions, zebras and other animals during this nighttime safari tour.

For a couple of years now The Magic Kingdom has been wowing guests with amazing projections on Cinderella Castle, now Animal Kingdom's centerpiece and icon, the Tree of Life, gets the same treatment. At various times during the evening, the tree will come alive with animal projections and special lighting as fireflies appear in the tree and awaken the spirit of the various animals carved into the trunk.

Also on Friday, May 27, Disney's Animal Kingdom will have two new parties, "Harambe Wildlife Parti" and "Discovery Island Carnivale" and two new food and beverage options: Tiffins Restaurant and Nomad Lounge.

One of the most highly anticipated additions is a new nighttime water show, Rivers of Light. Disney had originally announced the show would debut on April 22, but because of delays, they cancelled the premiere and as of this writing, there has been no announcement of a rescheduled opening date.

"While we'd hoped to debut these offerings," said Thomas Smith, editorial content director for Disney Parks, "Unfortunately, they will not open as planned ... as we give the team more time to bring these innovative experiences to life ..." Smith said that more information will be made available in mid- to late May.

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Disney's Animal Kingdom "The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic" show

Image: The Walt Disney Company


Not all of the Rivers of Light mechanics gave Disney Imagineers problems. They took what worked and incorporated it into an interim show "The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic." The show, which capitalizes on the success of Disney's recent live action film of the same name, will feature barges with singers, Indian musicians and colorful performers in the water while fellow players join in from nearby river banks. Light displays and massive water screens will project imagery from the film. The show will make its debut this Saturday, May 28, 2016.

Disney's Hollywood Studios
One of Disney's Hollywood Studios most popular attractions is Toy Story Mania. In the past, FastPass+ would become unavailable within hours of the park opening and the standby line would quickly reach 90+ minutes and remain like that for the entire day. To address that issue, Disney added a third track to the attraction. The track, which was scheduled to open over Memorial Day weekend, appears to be open now as it started letting guests in a few days ago.

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"Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular" - Artist Rendering

Image: The Walt Disney Company


On June 17, Disney's Hollywood Studios will premiere its most elaborate nighttime spectacular to date, "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular." According to the Disney Parks Blog, "This new nightly show will combine fireworks and pyrotechnics with video projections that will turn the surrounding buildings into familiar Star Wars destinations. The show will end with a tower of fire and spotlight beams that create massive lightsabers in the sky." Tom Corless of WDWNT added the projections will turn, "... the park's Chinese Theater and other buildings into the twin suns of Tatooine, a field of battle droids, the trench of the Death Star, Starkiller Base ..."

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Disney Springs

Image: The Walt Disney Company


Disney Springs
Originally opened as the Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village in March 1975, Disney Springs is the latest incarnation of Walt Disney World's outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment complex. It features four new districts: The Marketplace, The Landing, Town Center and the West Side. The re-imagined district has been opening in stages for the last few months and will continue to do so throughout the summer.


Beyond 2016
Although no one could argue that 2016 will not a big year for Walt Disney World, the next couple of years will see even bigger changes with the opening of Pandora - The World of Avatar in 2017 at Disney's Animal Kingdom and at Disney's Hollywood Studios, on a date yet-to-be announced, Star Wars Land (current working name) and Toy Story Land.

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Welcome to the Workstudio, the area of Sun on the Rocks Banana Fiction.

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I write Banana fiction, trivial, tropical, and easy to peel. Clocked 500.000 words of fiction, 63.000 reads in open salon, all of it sun on the rocks. Ebooks I offer are written by me, I publish as Somers Isle & Loveshade. All characters over 21.
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http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/SunbeachStudios

 

THE MALIBU CASE.

Or Whether Corporate Nudity should be part of the Dress Code.

THE ACAPULCO COCKTAIL.

Or How a single Drink can turn Thirst into a Traction with the Law.

THE CAYMAN AIR BANNER.

Or Going where your Money goes, to keep an Eye on how it Disappears.

 

THE BAHAMAS LOTION.

Or discerning when the Notion of a Lotion is not Beauty but Dependence.

THE ABU DHABI CHANNEL / THE ADULT CHANNEL.

Or Whether Renting Pleasure is different from Owning it.

THE BAHRAIN BRODERIE / THE OOL BRODERIE.

Or Whether a Wedding can be arranged as a matter of Levity.

THE BELLAGIO WIKILEAK.

Or How to rely on information before the information relies on you. 

THE CUBAN RENEGADE.

Or whether gold can be backed by a Renegade,

when money is backed by the cap of Castro.

THE SUGAR BABY.

Or whether sugar can turn to salt when someone overlooks the honey.

 

Backstories and Characters

CREATED by Somers Isle & Loveshade.

 

If you like Sun on the Rocks episodes and the backstories, please

email which appears on paypal page is correct, ebf[at]telefonica.net.

Workstudio's Blog

The Marble Toucan - 12 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on May 27, 2016 at 12:58am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 10 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on May 13, 2016 at 3:30am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 9 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on May 6, 2016 at 6:30am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 8 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 3:00am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 7 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on April 22, 2016 at 4:00am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 6 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on April 15, 2016 at 12:30am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 5 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on April 8, 2016 at 12:00am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 4 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on April 1, 2016 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 3 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on March 24, 2016 at 4:30am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit…

Continue

The Marble Toucan - 2 - Sun on the Rocks

Posted on March 18, 2016 at 7:00am 0 Comments

Summary of the amusement

Teleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit…

Continue

New Comments

Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for May 2016
"posted chapter twelve of the marble toucan."
11 hours ago
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for May 2016
"posted chapter eleven of the marble toucan."
May 20
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for May 2016
"I posted chapter ten of the marble toucan, along with a summary of the amusement."
May 13
Workstudio commented on Sage Hunter's blog post So how many here were on Open Salon?
"Hi Ruth, and welcome, I also came here from open salon, this is a great site and a friendly community, Lorianne makes everything easy, it'll feel like a second home."
May 12
Workstudio's blog post was featured

The Marble Toucan - 9 - Sun on the Rocks

Summary of the amusementTeleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit granted by Flower's boss, Egyptologist Akhris Zephairi. Zephairi's Alabastriah Foundation, funded by the Museum…See More
May 10
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for May 2016
"Thank you Alysa, I posted chapter nine of the marble toucan."
May 9
Workstudio's blog post was featured

The Marble Toucan - 8 - Sun on the Rocks

Summary of the amusementTeleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit granted by Flower's boss, Egyptologist Akhris Zephairi. Zephairi's Alabastriah Foundation, funded by the Museum…See More
May 1
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for April
"posted chapter eight of the marble toucan."
Apr 29
Workstudio's blog post was featured

The Marble Toucan - 7 - Sun on the Rocks

Summary of the amusementTeleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit granted by Flower's boss, Egyptologist Akhris Zephairi. Zephairi's Alabastriah Foundation, funded by the Museum…See More
Apr 24
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for April
"chapter seven of the marble toucan is posted."
Apr 22
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for April
"chapter six of the marble toucan is posted."
Apr 15
Workstudio's blog post was featured

The Marble Toucan - 5 - Sun on the Rocks

Summary of the amusementTeleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit granted by Flower's boss, Egyptologist Akhris Zephairi. Zephairi's Alabastriah Foundation, funded by the Museum…See More
Apr 10
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for April
"I posted chapter five of the marble toucan."
Apr 8
Workstudio's blog post was featured

The Marble Toucan - 4 - Sun on the Rocks

Summary of the amusementTeleoperator Clarity Nice and her friend ethnographer Flower Parkwood, reach the picturesque village of Miradorcito in the state of Campeche in Mexico. Brought to Campeche in a colorful guagua, Clarity works alongside Flower in an archaeological site to make some pocket money, using Flower's 'permiso de arqueologia', an observation and archaeological dig permit granted by Flower's boss, Egyptologist Akhris Zephairi. Zephairi's Alabastriah Foundation, funded by the Museum…See More
Apr 4
Johnny Robish left a comment for Workstudio
"Thanks Chris!"
Apr 4
Workstudio commented on OS Weekend Fiction Club's blog post Prompts and Stories List for April
"Thank you Alysa, I've posted chapter four of the marble toucan."
Apr 3

Comment Wall (2 comments)

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At 7:58am on April 4, 2016, Johnny Robish said…

Thanks Chris!

At 2:45pm on January 26, 2013, Workstudio said…

Welcome to the workstudio, blogsite of Sun on the Rocks in fiction.

 
 
 

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