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John's Travel Update April 1, 2022 (No Joke!)

Still in Mexico! We have had an amazing trip and I'll share all the details in the weeks ahead a bit at a time (we've done alot). So watch for that - but there are some fantastic updates around the world of travel!

In Person Meet & Greets To Resume!

This is the news that pretty much EVERYONE has been waiting for! Direct from Disney:

"As early as April 18, we will start reintroducing traditional character greetings at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts, as well as aboard Disney Cruise Line and at Aulani Resort in Hawaii. Very soon, Guests will once again be able to hug Mickey Mouse, get an autograph from Mulan, and share a laugh with Goofy. We know many of you have missed these special moments, and your Disney character friends have missed you, too!

During the past two years, we’ve taken a very gradual, intentional approach to health and safety protocols. Recent trends and guidance have provided opportunities for us to bring back some of our most beloved magic, like character greetings and dining experiences. While not all locations will be available immediately, we anticipate reopening in phases throughout the spring and early summer.”

Hot-Diggity Dog: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musican Revue Is Returning!

Yah-hoo, let’s eat! Get ready to clap your hands, stomp your feet and sing along, as the beloved musical dinner show Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue returns this summer to Walt Disney World Resort! Reservations will be available starting May 26 for showtimes beginning June 23.

The Pioneer Hall Players and Cast Members will be welcoming back Guests to this frontier-style family fun dining experience in Pioneer Hall at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. First debuting in 1974, Hoop-Dee-Doo will once again offer Guests a rousing Wild West performance, singing, zany vaudeville comedy with lots of laughs and an unforgettable countrified feast full of fried chicken, smoked BBQ ribs, a variety of savory sides and of course, strawberry shortcake!

Mandatory Departure Tax: What You Need To Know

If you're hoping to visit the Riviera Maya (Cancun) area soon - you'll want to read all about the mandatory departure tax HERE

Xavage: An Xcaret Park Review

Since I'm writing this from the balcony of my hotel - I wanted to give a quick review of Xavage - one of the MANY Xcaret Parks in Riviera Maya.

I surprised my family with tickets (full disclosure: my ticket was complimentary but theirs were not). My twins are 7 and nearing 8 and my daughter BARELY made the height requirements: 3.9 feet. So if you have little children - I'd avoid this park.

The ticket price ranges around $150 per adult (although if you purchase early - you receive a discount and I can set this up for you!) and children are half of that (ages 5 - 11). There are six large "attractions" and for the price - you can experience them as many times as you want.

This park has recently reopened and it was pretty quiet. We are here in the prime of Spring Break and I thought it would be much more crowded. Most time we would wait at an attraction for MORE people to join us. So there was a small wait at most attractions.

They offer: 4WD buggy offroading course (you don't really drive fast but it's driving a "monster truck" over obstacles), a ropes course (we didn't do this because the height scared the kids), zipline (again, too high), speedboat (this was our favorite), kayaking (they have a short and long course), whitewater rafting (which was pretty neat) and a pretty nice kids splashpad.

Lunch was included - and it was a varying international buffet (hamburgers to tacos). It helped us feel it was a good value.

To maximize your value: you'll want to do each activity at least twice. You WILL get wet: on the river rafting and speedboat attractions alone. Bring water shoes, several attractions won't allow open-toed shoes. Also: in a push to be environmentally friendly - they will take your "bad" sunscreen and hold it for you and give you bio-friendly sunscreen.

Get there EARLY! On the day we went - it opened at 8:30 a.m. and we were one of the first there and waited for nothing. You'll do quite a bit of walking too. This is definitely a park

The pictures are an additional charge - for a family of 4 it was $99 USD and we received over 50 photos! We should've stopped at more "Xelfie" picture opportunities in hindsight. It was a WONDERFUl day! We were all exhausted! Also to note: guests at Hotel Xcaret can enter all the parks at NO additional cost. So although the stay might be more expensive than a traditional resort: the value of visiting multiple Xcaret parks is well worth it!

That's it! I head home tomorrow so I hope you've had a wonderful week ahead! If you're ready to start planning YOUR adventure: CLICK HERE and I am happy to get started!

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