Category Archives: Blog

Surviving Harsh Conditions

While traveling is a vacation for most it can be a lifestyle for others. When you become a year round, full-time traveler you may begin to find yourself looking into more adventurous places to travel. This is exciting but also a handful for many reasons. Your personal safety should always be your first priority. There are so many health and safety products to choose from out there too ensure your safety while traveling through harsh conditions. Here are two destinations where the conditions are quite different but equally difficult to tough out!

 

Antarctica

There may not be a colder place on the planet than Antarctica. Many people do not realize that Antarctica is actually a desert. There is very little precipitation and large sheets of ice cover not only the entire land mass but most of the surrounding water as well. The conditions of Antarctica get so dangerous that it is only open to tourists during the summer months of November to March. Where you’ll be lucky to see the temperature hit a high of 14 C. This time of year carries 24 hours of daylight with it, making it somewhat of a surreal location to be. This is much more favorable than the winter months which are home to 24 hours of darkness and temperatures around -40 C. This combination makes the sea surrounding Antarctica impossible to navigate. While these are the temperatures for the surrounding islands, which most people travel too, the interior is much colder. If you have it in you to handle the SouthPole you’ll face summer highs of -15 C and winter lows around -80 C. Good luck with that excursion! But don’t let the harsh conditions scare you. There is much beauty to be found in the Antarctic landscape.

antarctica

The Australian Outback

Australia is always a hot spot for travelers of all shapes, kinds, and sizes. This is for several reasons. It is home to beautiful beaches, wonderful people, and great cities just to name a few. But Australia, like many other countries, has its dangerous side. Here it comes in the form of the Australian outback. You may find yourself wanting to take an expedition through this area. Before you do you should know that spiders, snakes, and crocodiles all call it home. This desert takes up much of the Australian continent as it lies smack in the middle and its dry air and burning hot sun is what keeps most of the people near the coast. I mentioned snakes earlier and one snake in particular that lives there is the Inland Taipan which is the worlds most venomous snake. It isn’t known to kill humans, but the saltwater crocodiles that live there are. The scariest part is that these creatures aren’t the most dangerous thing in the desert, its the heat. Alice Springs is a town in the middle of Australia and temperatures regularly hit 45 C. If your car breaks down and you aren’t prepared with emergency materials such as water, a radio, or spare parts you may have trouble ever getting to another destination. There are places to get safety equipment to travel with and it doesn’t have to be expensive. PureSafety has deals for every type of traveller so make your trek through the Outback a memorable one, not a deadly one.

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A Look at Malaga’s Top Museums

I’ve got a real passion for art and history so I’m always urging my friends and family members to take holidays where they can soak up a little culture. One destination that really fits the bill in this regard is Spain and, although I haven’t been there yet, Malaga is a city that particularly stands out as being perfect for a culture-focused getaway.

picasso museum malaga

Given that it is among the largest cities in the country, I don’t think you will have any trouble finding museums or galleries to take in. If anything, you might struggle fitting all the fantastic sights that there are on offer into a single holiday!

As such, I recommend that you spend a little time planning what attractions you would like to visit the most in advance. While you can do this after you have taken care of essentials like booking a flight to Malaga from Birmingham and sorting out accommodation, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t make a head start on planning which museums to see as soon as possible!

Pablo Picasso is undoubtedly one of Malaga’s most famous sons – not to mention being among the world’s greatest artists – so I certainly recommend you get an insight into the life and work of the local hero. The best place to do this, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the Picasso Museum.

Established in a direct response to the artist’s wish for his work to be shown in the place he was born, this institution’s permanent collection features more than 200 of Picasso’s pieces. These include, among others, Acrobat – an oil painting that was made in 1930 – and Insect, a ceramic work that contains blue decorative motifs.

In addition to being a great place to find out more about Picasso’s career, the museum hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Many of these focus on artists that have some kind of connection to Picasso, with previous shows looking at the work of Alberto Giacometti and David Douglas Duncan.

Admission to the museum’s permanent collection costs €6 (£5.10), though if you just want to see the temporary exhibits you can buy a separate ticket for €4.50. Alternatively, you could get a combined ticket for €9 that will provide you with full access to the entire institution, while a range of package and discount deals are also available.

To get an even fuller flavour of Malaga’s terrific culture, I suggest you head to the Museo Carmen Thyssen. Situated in the 16th century Villalon Palace, this museum focuses on 19th century Spanish art, with a particular emphasis on art that has been produced in Andalusia.

Casas Carbo Ramon, Maria Fortuny and Francisco de Zurbaran are just some of the artists whose works are exhibited in the permanent collection, though the array of temporary displays will always offer lots of variety in terms of the works you can see. This is supplemented by a fantastic range of events, including workshops, seminars and cinema screenings, so you can easily have a fun-filled day out here.

You will have to pay €6 to see the permanent collection, while €4 will get you admission into the temporary exhibits. A combined ticket for both parts of the museum costs €10.

Whether you go to the Picasso Museum or Museo Carmen Thyssen – or, even better, both – I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic cultural city break in Malaga.

 

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Pizza – a dish for every taste

When you travel to any destination across the globe, there is an extremely high possibility that you will find some kind of Pizza restaurant. Although it is a type of food that is traditionally associated with Italy, you will often find that every region will apply its own unique ‘twist’ to a pizza – this is something that is made possible by the amount of different topping combinations that can be added to a simple crust. Some restaurants will even create a sweet dish out of pizza – using chocolate sauce, marshmallows and other items of confectionary.

When you take a trip to Italy, you will realise that even Calzone (rolled, stuffed pizza) is remarkably different. While an American or British Calzone will be entirely plain on the outside, an Italian Calzone will have extra topping added to the top of the dish. If you think that ‘overstuffing’ is an activity that is only reserved for American diners, you may be surprised to know that many Italian pizzerias take great pride in stretching their Calzone to the absolute limit before adding more to the top of the completed pizza.

When looking at the actual outer crust of any pizza, this is also an area that has given people a huge amount of creativity. The idea of a simple ‘Stuffed Crust’ is relatively old-fashioned, as these have now evolved beyond inserting a simple strip of cheese. Some restaurants now prefer to take an extremely long hot dog, and roll it into the entire crust perimeter. Garlic-based products have also become a popular choice for stuffing, and some take-out outlets have experimented with inserting mini hamburgers as well. This shows that there is more to a pizza than the regular toppings.

From country to country, the range of available pizza toppings can vary greatly, and this creates an extremely diverse dining experience. When travelling on a layover, a pizza can be a quick and convenient dining option and so it always makes sense to carry your credit card when heading out for something to eat. You may want to apply for a credit card (?????)  if you haven’t got one just in case of an emergency. There are plenty of online credit card providers, do your research, compare cards (?????) and choose the one that is best suited for you.

 Cheese lovers may wish to take a trip to South Korea????, where it is possible to order a three-layer triple cheese pizza. This dairy-based feast includes a generous helping of Cheddar, Camembert and Emmental, along with a choice of traditional pizza toppings that can be added. This Asian nation has now developed a tradition for bizarre pizza ingredients, and they have also invented the ‘Mizza’ – a healthier option that replaces the traditional crust with a layer of rice. Other possibilities in this region include a crust that has been filled with sweet potato mousse, as well as a cookie crust pizza that may appeal to those with a sweet tooth.

Although cheese is a major component of any pizza, it is also possible to enjoy this classic dish without a single shred of it. Alternatives to cheese include cooking eggs as a topping, and you can also enjoy a dairy-free topping that is mainly tomato. This is the fundamental benefit of pizza – it is one of the most flexible dishes in the world that can be adapted to all tastes and dietary requirements. Most supermarkets even have the bases ready-made for you, allowing you to jump straight into the creative stage.

 

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Activities for Young Mothers to Pursue in Florida

Florida is a fantastic destination for young mothers to visit on holiday with their children. There are many activities to pursue and enjoy, from beaches to parks to theme parks there is plenty to see, do and most importantly enjoy. Although going to Florida can be quite expensive, you can save money by comparing flights to Florida at cheapflights.co.uk.

hutchinson-island

Beaches
The Florida beaches are a perfect destination for families and especially young mothers to visit on holiday. Hutchinson Island has 22 miles of beaches where you can enjoy activities such as tennis, Frisbee and golf. Your kids can enjoy building sandcastles, paddling and swimming in the sea while you soak up the sun. Beaches are a great place for relaxation and as a young mother that is exactly what you deserve. Enjoy the tranquillity of Florida’s finest beaches, read a book and build up your tan and show off that you are a young and beautiful yummy mummy.

disney-world

Disney World
Your time in Florida should definitely include a trip to a Disney World, this is an exceptionally magical place to visit with your children. You cannot get the same experience anywhere else in the world! With rides that are perfect for people of all heights and ages you are bound to find something suitable for you and your family. You are guaranteed to have a thoroughly exciting and thrilling time when visiting Disney World.

As well as fantastic rides and amusements, there are many bars and restaurants with amazing food to experience. At night time you can enjoy magnificent, awe-inspiring firework shows or see a magic show and some wonderful musicians.

Suwannee-River-Trail

State and Natural parks
If you’re a young mother who enjoys exercise, visit the Suwannee River Trail in White Springs in Florida. Here you can explore caverns and go hiking which are exciting for both you and your child. You could also have a fantastic family picnic whilst enjoying the spectacular scenery this part of the world has to offer. Work off any unwanted calories from holiday over-indulging by hiking up hills. Take in the tranquil ambience of Florida’s natural landscapes.

For a historical adventure visit the Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park, here you can learn about the history of the slave trade. It’s also a place where you and your family can acquire skills in canoeing.

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Water Parks
For those thrill seeking, young mothers with an abundance of energy, visit a water park such as Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach which are a part of Disney World. You can enjoy exciting shoots, slides and water rides. There are pools where young children can play and simply have fun splashing around.

Sea World is another fantastic place to take kids, or even just for you if you are interested in sea life. Get up close and personal with dolphin and exciting tropical fish. Sea World is a fascinating place where you will learn a lot about marine life and have a whale of a time!

There are many different activities that you can enjoy as a young mother, with or without your family. Whether you want thrilling, exciting activities or tranquil relaxation, you will certainly have a fantastic, fun-filled holiday in Florida.

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How to eat like a local in Oslo

Oslo, similar to Norway generally speaking, is not the most affordable vacation destination, aside from the flights to Oslo, for consuming and drinking. However despite the fact that myths of the price ranges of an evening out in the town are renowned, you can still find certain areas where one can grab an inexpensive bite to consume.

Aker Brygge
And also in case you are in a position to manage it, eating away in Oslo is excellent. Along with all the normal wise worldwide dining places that series Bogstadveien as well as Hegdehaugsveien, in addition there are a lot of spots in which conventional Norwegian delicacies is offered.

With the close by North Sea to trawl, there’s seldom any specific deficiency in fresh new sea food available in the city’s dining places. The ideal place to choose seafood is the region of Aker Brygge, a dynamic region down by Akershus Fortress to the southwest of the town.

The accommodate (constructed on the long used shipyard) is furthermore an excellent destination to go for a walk, have a beverage and scrutinize the boats bobbing away on the lakes on comfortable summer time evenings, even though the price ranges appear a bit daunting.

In addition there are a good amount of areas to take flights to Oslo select from on the side roads that run off the main thoroughfares of Stortingsgaten as well as Karl Johans entrance. Nevertheless, these additionally are usually in the direction of the high end of the value range.

Exactly what low-cost eating you can find in the location practically solely revolves around dining places opened up by the big immigrant populations. In the market to the east of the town, places similar to Grunerløkka, Storgata, Gronland as well as Brugata provide you with a dizzying selection of cuisines. Consider taking flights to Oslo that are less expensive so you can enjoy the taste and variety of all the food they offer. Why not take a look at flights from SAS?

Torgatta, and also on and around Hausmanns entrance (to the northeast of the town), has its reasonable share of inexpensive Asian dining places along with the strange kebab store. Just a little to the southwest, Gronlandsleiret with its low-cost curry locations is yet another high-quality spending budget choice.

Nevertheless, self-catering is honestly  the main section of the typical spending budget traveler’s vacation in the town. Grocery stores similar to Rema 1000 or Kiwi can be obtained across the city, although the outside marketplace on Youngstorget is a good destination to grab garden-fresh produce.

Purchasing alcoholic beverages in Oslo may be a little complicated, as well, as the region has certain uncommon regulations concerning its acquisition in outlets. Even though you can purchase beer in grocery stores, anything more powerful has to be purchased from a government liquor shop, or ‘Vinmonopolet’.

However possibly the most convenient way to consume and drink in Oslo (in summer time, at the least) is always to make like the locals; purchase a throw away bbq and proceed to one of the close by islands of the Oslofjord. Very few dining places, of course, may outrank resting on the beach and consuming freshly-cooked sea food.

Oslo is an absolutely contemporary capital with a sizable selection of cultural cuisines, fast food shops, exquisite dining places, and vintage cafes for example Theatercaféen. Get ready for substantial price ranges, the oil profits make Oslo into one among the world’s most valuable metropolitan areas. As opposed to planning your flights to Oslo, you may want to think about setting aside extra money for your eating.

In the focal point of the town can be found one of Oslo’s most ancient establishments where folks have accumulated since the early on 1700’s. Right here it is possible to consume, drink and take pleasure in the hereditary environment, regardless of whether you are by yourself or are going to pack as much as three hundred of your buddies /colleagues. The pleasant waiters and cooks are concentrated on top quality and thrilling preference encounters.

 

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Australia has more to offer than just beaches and the Great Barrier Reef

When you think of Australia, what comes to mind? Kangaroos? BBQ’s? Cricket? Of course they all do, these are the things we associate with OZ – but there is much more to this vast country. It’s the perfect holiday destination with such a diversity of experiences and places to explore. Start planning your adventure now, who knows what you will discover on a holiday down under.

Fraser Island

Fraser Island

Australia is of course renowned for its spectacular beaches and glorious shore lines. Many journey to Australia to see these natural world icons – with the Great Barrier Reef being amongst the most famous. Yet, there is so much more to see! The Blue Mountains offer a breathtaking blue-hazed vista of natural beauty. This World Heritage Area contains an amazing one million hectares of tall forests, sandstone cliffs, canyons, waterfalls and bushland.  Here you can let your adventurous side escape and go mountain biking, rock climbing, canyoning, and abseiling or simply take a Bush walk to absorb the astonishing panoramas. You can very easily find discounted hotel rooms in Blue Mountains on Expedia. The hotels are mostly located in the small city of Katoomba, approximately1h30 from Sydney. These valley hotels will give you an easy access to the many local activities and wild hiking trails. Plus, you will have an amazing view with on the valley, which is really breathtaking at sunset.

Or take a trip to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island which is the world’s largest sand island. The Aboriginal founders called this island ‘K’gari’, or paradise, and it’s no surprise as to why with its 75 mile long beach and an abundance of wildlife. Here you can four-wheel drive next to the coloured sand cliffs or take a bushwalk through heathlands full of wild flowers after a spot of peaceful swimming in the beautiful surrounding lakes. You can even see kangaroos, wallabies and possums as you picnic in the Happy Valley, perfect!

If thrill seeking isn’t your thing, and you want to escape it all but still be close to Australia’s astonishing natural landscape, then restore body and mind whilst staying in the luxury accommodation which can be found at Bloomfield Lodge. Here you’ll be amongst the tropical Daintree rainforest but have the comfort of luxurious lodgings and outstanding food. The Daintree Rainforest is the largest tropical area in all of Australia and is home to the infamous Bennett’s Tree-kangaroo, 430 species of birds and 12,000 species of insects. At Bloomfield Lodge you can of course also experience the Great Barrier Reef and beautiful beaches to get the best of both worlds.

If cities are more your thing, then a visit to Sydney is not to be missed! Sydney is Australia’s famous harbour city and the capital of New South Wales. You can easily explore all the sights and beaches within three days or so, making this the perfect beginning or end to your Australian holiday.

 

 

 

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A brief Boston history guide

The historical city of Boston is a must see city if you ever find yourself in the USA.  Set in the stunning Massachusetts Bay it has so much to offer, even if you are only staying a few days or passing through when on cheap holidays.

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Early history

Originally founded in September 1630 it is one of the oldest cities in America.  The Boston settlers came from Lincolnshire in England to create what is now the capital of New England.

It has had a large involvement in the American Revolution playing a part in major historical events, such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea party.

 

What to see?

Due to its rich history and connections with many different battles and wars, Boston has much to see and do.  There are plenty of museums here that showcase the history and tradition that surrounds this fantastic city.  In particular you may want to check out the Museum of Fine Arts, the New England Aquarium and the Harvard Art Museum.

What is really striking about Boston though is its scenery.  Every corner you turn you will find parks, greenery and plenty of stunning architecture.

And, no visit to Boston is complete without a trip to the original ‘Cheers’ bar.  The bar where everybody knows your name.  The Bull & Finch pub is how it’s formally known and it was the inspiration for the hit TV show, ‘Cheers’.

If sports is more your thing then you won’t be disappointed with a trip to the home of the Boston Red Sox.  Fenway Park is the destination you should be headed and it is the oldest baseball stadium still used in major league games.

Boston has a fantastic cultural scene and you will be certain to find something to suit your tastes.  Whether you are a fan of classical music, baseball, history or architecture, you are guaranteed to find plenty of interesting and inspirational treats amongst this historical US city.

 

Why not see for yourself?

 

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The pros and cons of different holiday accommodation

Whenever you book a holiday, one of the important decisions you have to make is the kind of accommodation you choose to stay in.

gran canaria

Of course it depends on who you’re going away with and what they want from a holiday. Some people prefer the freedom of self-catering as you can choose to eat out whenever you want, but you have the facilities in your own place to cook your own meals. It’s a really popular choice for people with young children and fussy appetites. Having a self-catering apartment or villa also gives you more space than you’d get in a hotel room, so there’s less chance of going stir crazy in the evenings with toddlers in a confined space! You can also choose to have your own private pool – which can be a big plus for some holidays.

However, what you don’t get from self-catering is so much opportunity to interact with and meet other holidaymakers. Hotels are a great place to do this, and meal times are the ideal time to socialise. A big advantage with hotel accommodation nowadays is that you can often choose which level of board you want – just bed and breakfast, half-board, full-board or even all-inclusive. Going all-inclusive is a great way to budget ahead for your holiday. The whole trip is paid for before you get on the plane, save for any spending money and excursions you might feel like doing while you’re away.

Pretty much every holiday resort now offers all types of accommodation, so if you prefer to book your accommodation and flights separately, it’s no problem. So if you see some cheap flights to Gran Canaria, for example, there’s no need to worry about sorting out accommodation immediately – in fact you often get a better deal if you leave booking where you’re going to stay until the last minute.

If you’re in two minds about booking self-catering accommodation if you’ve only ever stayed in hotels, what risk is it really? You’ll either enjoy the experience or not, and if you don’t, you can always go back to the hotel option for your next trip!

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When is the best time to visit the Nordic Countries?

The Scandinavian countries have always been very popular destinations among travellers. They are popular not only for some of the best and naturally beautiful stunning scenic vistas in Europe, but they are also well-renowned for their laidback attitude, and their relaxed and easy lifestyle. For readers who are unaware, the Nordic Countries is a collective phrase used to refer to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland. Also included in this collection of regions are the autonomous regions of Greenland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Aland. Scandinavian Countries is also a term used to refer to this region, but that does not include Greenland.

Denmark in Winter

Denmark in Winter

These countries share a common heritage and immense similarities in their societies. They are independent in their governing systems, but their cultural traditions and languages are similar. The Nordic nations have been renowned not only for their unique beauty, but also for the fact that they are among the most eco-conscious nations in the world. ‘Green’ is a term that is not used loosely here; it is a part of their persona, and they go to immense lengths to preserve their flora and fauna and to take care of their environment.

The best time to visit the Nordic countries is dependent upon the kind of holiday you would like to have. Flights to Stockholm are popular all through summer, and flights to Copenhagen always seem to be jam-packed with holiday travellers. If you are planning to have a summer holiday, then the best time to visit the Scandinavian countries would be the months from May till September. Why not take a look at the airfares now on a major Scandinavian Airline SAS (www.flysas.com/en/uk).Each country has its own special seasons, but if you are planning to travel through all the Nordic countries then travel towards the end of June till mid-July. The weather is beautiful with temperatures in Stockholm hovering around 16 C. The best aspect of this season is the fact that daylight hours last for 17 hours a day and you can travel around the country quite easily, as a result. These countries are within the Arctic region and during summer, the midnight sun is an unforgettable experience.

In Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the summer months have a fairly mild climate. This is quite surprising, especially when one considers the fact that all of these Nordic countries are so close to the Arctic. Finland has the most stable summer weather among these countries. In August, the weather in Norway can be very erratic, with sudden cold rain dropping the temperatures to an uncomfortable 8 C.

Winter sports are the forte of these nations and if you are a die-hard fan of mountain sports, then visit the Nordic countries during the winter season. Be prepared for harsh temperatures but amazingly white winter lands. Flights to Oslo in winter are easily available and there are not too many tourists. The countries are well-equipped for the skiing and winter sports aficionados, and there are world famous resorts as well. Except for coastal Norway, you will find a winter landscape here which is equal to none other in the world. The northern parts of Scandinavia are full of snow during winter months, but do remember that daylight hours are very short. And in the Arctic circles, the sun does not emerge for days on end.

Flights to Copenhagen from London are available all through the year, and this lovely city can be used as a starting point for your travels through this region. Visit Greenland for a totally unique experience; Finland for a crowd-free holiday; Norway for some fabulous fjords and quaint villages; and Sweden for the best castles and manors.

 

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Sun, sea and Shamu

In light of the UK’s recent disappointing ‘summer’ weather, we can be forgiven for looking further afield this year in search of our much needed dose of summer sunshine. Especially since 2012 was the wettest in 100 years. So where better to look than the sunshine state itself, Florida? Boasting sumptuous sub-tropical temperatures and a list of world class attractions, Orlando is the city of choice for many visiting the region. We all know that it only takes a mention of “Disney world” to get the kids jumping with excitement but, if you’re an animal lover like me, you can’t miss the chance to visit SeaWorld, one of the world’s largest sea life parks.

orlando florida

If you’re lucky enough to be paying Orlando a visit this year, you’re best to get in quick and pre-book tickets for Orlando’s top attractions before you leave. Especially since you can make significant savings by booking attractions such as SeaWorld Orlando tickets before leaving the UK.

SeaWorld offers you a chance to lose yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the sea and get up close and personal with huge range of amazing creatures. Come feeding time you can really become part of their world, as you meet and hand-feed a range of colourful park residents, including playful Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins, majestic sea lions and feisty stingrays.

But perhaps one of the most entertaining features of the park is its live shows. Here you can experience the wonders of the sea as they unfold before you. As you watch the live antics of animals and their trainers you can’t help realising just how incredible these creatures really are and what an amazing bond they share with their keepers. The shows set out to educate inspire and enthrall and they certainly don’t disappoint. But be warned, if you decide to sit in one of the front rows you may come out pretty wet!

For the thrill-seekers out there, the park also offers a range of world class rollercoasters, including Manta, the world’s only ‘flying’ rollercoaster. Manta sets out to let you experience what it’s like to spin, glide, skim and fly just like a giant ray. This monster of a ride sees passengers taunted by head-first, face-down inverted nose dives as they skim across the water on one of the smoothest tracks in the world.

Or how about the Kraken? Inspired by the myth of legendary giant sea monsters said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland, this is a monster-coaster like no other. Consistently voted by enthusiasts as one of the world’s best coaster experiences, this ‘mythical beast’ will lift you higher, drop you longer and spiral you faster than any other coaster in Orlando.

It’s also great to know that the centre is a world leader in animal welfare and conservation, supporting and working with more than 100 environmental organisations worldwide. In an effort to protect wildlife and their habitats, the centre is committed to raising awareness of conservation issues around the world and giving everyone a chance to play their part in helping out. Working in partnership with the state and local federal agencies, the park also trains rescue teams who are on call 24/7 to respond to wildlife crises. The job of these workers range from treating animals victims of natural disasters to caring for those who have been orphaned or injured.

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