This Week at TouringPlans – June 30, 2019

first_imgFun Stuff!Live chats are always fun. Check out Angela and Fred as they talk crowds, Galaxy’s Edge, and more.Who doesn’t love saving money? You could save a fortune on international travel with this tip.More love for Stitch with this cone for Stitch Day.The Kitchen Sink is this week’s pick for Chocolate Friday.The popular YouTube roundup is back with attraction videos, a top 5 list, and more.The Week AheadIf you’re planning to the visit to the parks soon, here’s what’s going on this week.The week ahead at Walt Disney WorldThe week ahead at DisneylandThe week ahead at Universal OrlandoThe week ahead on Disney Cruise LineSave time! Save money! Have fun! For complete access to all of our great vacation-planning tools like the Crowd Calendar, customizable Touring Plans, Cheapest Ticket Calculator, Dining Reservation Finder, Hotel Room Request automator, and MORE, subscribe to the latest news on all things Disney and Universal, follow our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Share This!Welcome to your one-stop shop for our news from Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Universal Orlando, and more.This week’s news certainly made a splash!Walt Disney World News of the WeekThere’s one thing we didn’t love (but lots we did love) about the new Dumbo cupcake.The secret is out about the new treat at Pineapple Lanai.Disney food can be expensive, but there are values in dining to be had at the Magic Kingdom.This vacation package may cost you more than you think.A new stroller program at Animal Kingdom may make you rethink bringing a stroller from home.We’ve come up with 100 things you should know before your first WDW trip.Ooooooo! It’s video of Alien Swirling Saucers!How many pressed pennies are in the Magic Kingdom? We’re tracking them down.What’s on tap for the 4th at Walt Disney World?BBQ at Epcot? That’s been on our wish list for forever!Reservations are open now for the BBB at the Grand Floridian, coming this fall.Taste Track is gone!Julia takes us to the serenity of the Imagination Fountains at Epcot.Refurbishment has started at Canada.July 4th PhotoPass options will be available at WDW.You’ll want to bring your appetite to Circle of Flavors: Harambe at Night.Getting excited for Food and Wine Festival? Here’s what’s new.Disneyland News of the WeekThe opening day for Galaxy’s Edge was surprising to say the least.Magic shots at Galaxy’s Edge are a ton of fun.Looking to visit Disneyland? May want to see if your friend has an AP.Pixar Pals Parking Garage to open on June 30.Take your emotions for a whirl at Disney’s California Adventure.The Main Street Electrical Parade is coming back to Disneyland Resort.If you want to see Mickey’s Soundsational Parade, time is running out.Universal OrlandoSpoiler alert: We’re sharing the ins and outs of the new Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure.Saturday SIX takes us to look at what’s new at Universal, from She-Ra to doughnut burgers.MerchandiseGet a cute plush and help conservation efforts with these unique Lion King plush.Are these retro prints the next purchase to end up in your home?Looking for an eco-friendly souvenir? Check out the seed pod art.Bubble wand or light stick? Now your kids don’t have to choose.Want to work on your Sia impersonation? Oversized bow, check.What bagged candy do you like for National Candy Month?6-26 is Stitch Day. Here’s some merchandise featuring the adorable alien himself.Did you know that we’ve been on a shopping touring of the World Showcase Countries in Epcot?Knit plush toys are perfect for the child in all of us.Looking for a great toy for kids of all ages? Check out these figurine playsets.Collectible cups at Animal Kingdom make a useful souvenir.We’re trying a new feature: The Random Pin Roundup.Vintage Mickey and Minnie dolls are on sale for almost half off.Show your American spirit with these patriotic items.Retro-style Loungefly bags have been released.Disney beverage holders are shockingly expensive.Here’s where we’ve been so far:Shopping in CanadaShopping in MexicoShopping in the United KingdomShopping in FranceShopping in GermanyShopping in NorwayShopping in ItalyShopping in Moroccolast_img read more

Skyliner Merchandise is Retro Cool

first_imgShare This!Disney’s Skyliner overhead gondola transportation system opened this weekend. Several members of the TouringPlans team have ridden and the reports are nearly all positive. Seriously, you’re actually soaring over Walt Disney World. How cool is that!If you fall in love with the Skyliner, there’s plenty of merchandise available to help you advertise your allegiance. The clean lines on the artwork feel very mid-century retro, just a step or two removed from classic TWA or PanAm airline artwork. Have you tried Skyliner? What do you think of the merchandise?Photos: Christina Harrisonlast_img

Barberton glitters with more than just gold

first_imgAuthor, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, wrote the book Jock and the Bushveld in Barberton. The sculpture of Jock stands outside the town hall.(Images: Barberton Community Tourism) Barberton was home to the old Transvaal’s first stock exchange. The Barberton daisy was first discovered here by Robert Jameson in 1889.MEDIA CONTACTS • Astrid ChristiansonMarketing ManagerBarberton Community Tourism+27 13 712 7119Romaana NaidooIt might look unassuming, but the quaint Lowveld town of Barberton, in the foothills of the Makhonjwa Mountains, is a winner in the heritage stakes.Founded in the late 1800s, this town in Mpumalanga’s De Kaap Valley can lay claim to some of the country’s firsts: the first stock exchange in the old Transvaal; the first double-storey building in that province; the first swimming pool in the old Transvaal; and the longest and only cable car that crossed into another country (Swaziland).Barberton is a geological, cultural, ecological and botanical treasure trove well known for its gold-mining history. Fringed by the oldest mountains in the world, which date back 3.5 billion years, the town – some 43km south of Nelspruit – is home to some of the oldest exposed rocks on the planet.Barberton Community Tourism marketing manager Astrid Christianson says thousands of scientific papers have been written about the Barberton Greenstone Belt, or the Barberton Mountain Land, which has the best preserved and most easily accessed Archean rocks in the world.Most recently, microscopic fossils of primitive single-cell organisms were found in the area, which indicate the emergence of life occurred a billion years earlier than previously thought.Also known as the “Genesis of Life”, this greenstone belt contains fossils of the earliest life forms on Earth as well as evidence of an ancient meteorite strike.Gold was discovered in the area over 120 years ago, marking the beginning of industrial development in South Africa, and the mines that flourished then are still producing the oldest gold on the planet.Christianson, who describes Barberton as a bowl of crumpled hills dressed in flat-crowned thorn trees and dusted with aloes and daises, says gold laid the foundations of the town.“The valley has scarcely a creek or a cave that has not been panned or peered it into since the Barber brothers made their gold strike back in 1884. Almost every inch has been gone over with a fine tooth comb – or at least a hand shovel – in the hope of instant riches.”Evidence of the early gold rush can be seen at numerous sites, including Bray’s Golden Quarry, which was once a source of a rich ore deposit, and at Rimers Creek, where the Barbers struck gold. Sheba Mine, said to be the oldest operating gold mine in the world, is tucked away in a hillside, while Fairview Mine has the only biox plant in South Africa for the extraction of gold, and still operates a ropeway for conveying ore to the crusher.However, gold is not the town’s only treasure – the area’s botanical riches are a draw card for those seeking green gold. The biodiversity of the Barberton Centre of Endemism is said to be rivalled only by the Cape Floral Kingdom.“Cynics say this is simply because there have been more botanists in this area than elsewhere – and perhaps there is a fragment of truth there – but the botanists came because of the plants. The reason for the rich variety of plants is the area’s exceptional geology,” said Christianson.The Makhonjwa Mountains which surround Barberton – from Jeppe’s Reef to Oshoek and all the hills between, from Shiyalongubo to Queen’s River and Jambila to Songimvelo and Elukwatini – also have important high-rainfall catchments that are protected in terms of several proclaimed nature reserves.“Spend a day exploring the valley on quad bike, mountain bike, horseback or foot, or view it from the air in a microlight or hang-glider, or let it zoom in on you while sky-diving,” says Christianson. “Explore old mine shafts, or hunt for rare butterflies on the bald hill that was once crowned with ephemeral Eureka City, the town that had hardly boomed before it went bust.”The area is also home to an abundance of wildlife, and walking through the town one can catch sight of the elusive Narina trogon, flashes of crimson from the wing of the purple turaco – and even baboons.The cultural history of the region is also significant, encompassing the colonial and apartheid eras, as well as that of the Swazi nation. Today, Barberton is home to many cultural groups that have played a role in shaping the town’s heritage.Christianson says, “On the darker side, Barberton has played a role in three great wars: the Anglo-Boer war and the two World Wars. Barberton Prison, made famous through Bryce Courtenay’s novel The Power of One, housed many a freedom fighter in the apartheid years, among them Helen Hendricks, Dorothy Dlamini, Dorothy Kubheka, Jean Middleton and Esther Barsel.“Esther was later private secretary to Chris Hani and a close friend of Nelson Mandela, who himself was held in the Barberton Prison before being sent to Robben Island.”Heritage walks through the town, which include visits to restored late Victorian residences, offer a peek into life during the 1880s mining boom. The local museum is housed in the renovated Barberton Iron and Steel Foundry building.Adjacent to the museum is the Umjindi Jewellery Project, which trains young people in jewellery design and manufacture. It also has a coffee shop and an interesting collection of arts and crafts.East of the town, on the old wagon road, is world-renowned Outsider artist Nucain Mabuza’s Stone Garden. Author Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his dog Jock travelled this route and the book Jock of the Bushveld was written in Barberton.A chunky sculpture of Jock, created by Ivan Mitford Barberton – a descendant of the town’s founding brothers – stands outside the town hall.last_img read more

#Nextchat RECAP: Stepping Into Your Role as an HR Department of One

first_imgOn February 13, @SHRMNextchat chatted with Sabrina Baker about Stepping Into Your Role as an HR Department of One. If you missed this excellent chat, on how to be an effective and efficient HR department of one, you can read all of the tweets here or below:last_img

The BBC Tinkers With Netvibes-Inspired Homepage

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#Digital Lifestyle#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market The British Broadcasting Corporation quietly launched a beta version of their spiffed up new homepage last week.The new page, which the Beeb has dubbed a “lick of paint,” draws on a number of so-called web 2.0 design aesthetics: rounded corners, large fonts, big buttons, a soft color palette, and a liberal dash of AJAX.But most strikingly, the beta BBC page is comprised of drag and drop content modules similar to Netvibes or iGoogle (named in a blog post by BBC’s UX and Design head as inspirations). The site, says the BBC, was designed around the ideas of simplicity, personalization, and localization, as well a bit of nostalgia: the homepage prominently features an accurate analogue clock — the BBC was founded in 1922, after all, and the media network says that test users have found the clock, an “homage to the ‘golden days’ of analogue programming, bizarrely reassuring.”For now, the BBC site is using a cookie to remember user preferences, but the company plans to integrate the personalization options into a forthcoming identity management system to be launched sometime in January. The redesign was completed in a relatively short three-month period, and the BBC joins CNN, USA Today, and AOL News among major news web sites that have launched newer, more “web 2.0” designs this year.The BBC’s new design on the left vs. the old design on the right.In June we compared the redesign efforts from the aforementioned major US news web sites. Those sites tended to emphasize user interaction (via comments, voting, story submission, etc.) or audio and video, while the BBC is emphasizing personlization. Which method makes more sense? It probably depends on your audience. The BBC’s homepage serves users of not just their web site news service, but also their television and radio networks, so the portal route might make more sense. The BBC has a lot of content from various sources that users want to get to, and letting users define which content they see first may prove a popular feature.In general, the BBC’s beta site is much cleaner and easier to scan. The old (current) BBC web site is a mess of text links with no clear navigation. The new site still has a bit of navigation headache (i.e., I still have to dig through a block of links at the bottom of the page to get to the tech section), but because the content widgets can be personalized and moved, I can rework the page such that it shows me the latest tech headlines instantly at the very top.The new design also places a greater emphasis on search, making it more apparent how to find what you’re looking for, by placing a larger search box in a familiar place on the page. That is a vast improvement over the current situation, but I’d still like to see a cleaner, easier-to-navigate dedicated site navigation.It is interesting to note that this is not the BBC’s first attempt at personalization. Their myBBC service from 2001 was something like a stripped down, BBC-only version of MyYahoo! While myBBC ultimately didn’t pan out, something tells me they may have more luck this time around. What do you think? josh catone 1center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

New Chart: Survey Says Inbound Marketing Budgets on the Rise

first_img The State of Inbound Marketing 2010 Businesses that are increasing inbound marketing budgets said they’re doing so because of “past success with inbound marketing” (58%).  Success includes lead generation and client/customer acquisition: 43% of companies using Facebook have acquired a customer Businesses are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to inbound marketing. According HubSpot’s Why Spending has Increased Download the webinar now 41% of companies who use Twitter for marketing have acquired a customer from a Twitter-related lead Inbound Marketing The small minority of businesses that are reducing inbound marketing budgets are doing so almost exclusively due to economic conditions. 46% of companies that have blogs have acquired a customer from a blog-generated lead Additionally, those surveyed said inbound marketing channels are more important than any outbound channel. Specifically, social media, blogs, and organic search engine optimization are of greatest importance. Eighty-five percent of respondents rated company blogs as “useful” or better in 2010. And Twitter moved into the second spot with 71% saying it is “useful” or better, compared with 39% in 2009. Topics:  Webinar: The 2010 State of Inbound Marketing Listen to Mike Volpe, VP of Marketing at HubSpot for a 30- minute overview of the 2010 State of Inbound Marketing! Social Media to learn how more than 230 professionals have been using inbound marketing to transform their businesses. 41% of companies that use LinkedIn for marketing have acquired a customer from that source Originally published Apr 28, 2010 5:15:00 AM, updated October 18 2015 What about you? Are you doing more with inbound marketing this year? What success have you seen? report, the majority of the 231 businesses surveyed said they planned to increase their 2010 inbound marketing budgets from 2009 levels. In fact, 88% of those surveyed are either maintaining or increasing their inbound marketing budgets. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

3 Essential Strategies for Crazy-Busy People

first_img on March 17 & 24 (my book on selling to crazy-busy people) came out last year, I was deluged with requests from sellers who said, “I’m crazy-busy too! How can you help me?” SidewaysSarah How can I possibly be overwhelmed before the day has even started? Yet this morning, as I sit down at my desk to get to work, that’s exactly how I feel. But let me give you some advice right now that can make a difference. Everything I’m sharing is based on research into how the brain works. Every day I select just one thing that absolutely has to get done the next day. If I have five things, I get bogged down. But with just one essential “to do” I can ensure it’s completion. (Note: Writing this article is my “one thing: for today.) SNAP Selling & Selling to Big Companies, two bestselling sales books and is a popular speaker who helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business. These simple ideas really do work. They enable me to focus better. My thinking is better. I see more creative options for solving my problems. th Sales Productivity Summit After The truth is, your poor little brain is really incapable of handling all the things clamoring for its attention. The more things you have to do, the less efficiently it functions. Decisions are harder. You can’t think of as many ideas. Everything takes longer. with HubSpot. SNAP Selling It’s something I’ve been studying with a vengeance since then. Because I need help – and so do you. It’s also why I’m hosting an online Topics: 1. Pick the “One Thing” Sound familiar? 2. Put up a Barricade Image: 3. Dump Your Ideas Got some fledgling ideas floating around in your mind? How about something that you really need to remember for tomorrow? In order for your brain to function best, you don’t want it to keep using its limited resources to remember things for you. Always write things down. This frees your brain up for more important thinking – like how to best win business with a new account. This is a guest post written by Jill Konrath, author of In short, I get a lot more done in a lot less time! If you’re crazy-busy too, I ‘d suggest you give them a try. My To Do list is overflowing with calls to make, proposals to write, customers to satisfy. Checking my email only makes things worse. Now another 72 people want my attention. I sometimes wonder if there’s any light at the end of the tunnel. Here are three simple but highly effective strategies I use to minimize my crazy-busy feelings. Originally published Mar 8, 2011 9:12:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 It’s so easy to get distracted. A phone call leads to six other tasks. Checking your email can result in the loss of an hour. When I’m serious about getting my “one thing” done, I don’t answer the phone, check emails, or respond to any other interruptions. My time is valuable so I protect it. Usually I do this in one-hour increments. Time Management Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

5 Key Tools for Effective Facebook Marketing

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack While the average number of Facebook friends per user is 130, people who click the Like button have an average of 310 friends. Justin Kistner of Webtrends revealed this piece of data during yesterday’s Facebook marketing webinar. What does it mean for you?Facebook fans are more active and engaged that just regular Facebook users: they are consuming more content and clicking on links. As Justin said, they are looking for deals, news and community. Here are five ways in which you can capitalize on that engagement:1. Website Integration2. Facebook PagesFan pages are the strongest Facebook real estate businesses own. They empower you to reach your fans by merely posting on your wall. But here is a caveat. “Just because you hit ‘publish’ doesn’t mean your news post went to all your fans,” Justin noted. Facebook’s algorithm EdgeRank determines that distribution . That decision is made based on the type of content you share, the number of comments it generated and who posted it in the first place. That is why you want to have at least 1% of your fan base start interacting with your content so that it surfaces in more people’s news feeds.3. Facebook AdsWhile Google ads are focused on sales—20% off a product, free shipping, etc—Facebook ads should revolve around content offers. On Facebook, Justin said, you have to think of other lifestyle examples that might help you reach your target market. The goal would be to capture this person within Facebook (as opposed to on an outside page) and continue nurturing her through engagement. The most important element here is image selection—make sure you test how your images perform before making any assumptions.4. Facebook Apps How to use tabs and social widgets to drive fans on and off the Facebook page? One of the most important uses of apps is for the creation of landing pages. We recently covered how businesses can use iFrames to do that now that the Facebook Markup Language (FBML) is going away . Keep in mind that busy tabs make bad landing pages, so your design should be simple and to the point.5. Facebook AnalyticsWhat is the value of your Facebook fan page? There are many ways in which you can slice and dice the data: you can do demographic analysis, track app measurement and perform geographic split testing. Don’t forger you have access to Facebook Insights which will help you better undertand “trends within user growth and demographics, consumption of content, and creation of content. Use that information to revisit your marketing strategies and improve upon them.Which key tool is your favorite and how do you use it? Originally published Apr 27, 2011 9:16:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Topics: Facebook Marketinglast_img read more