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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet! 10.2.10

Oh, I love no holiday more than Halloween. It’s better than Christmas in my opinion. I like to do up my whole house all spooky, enjoy it for the entirety of October and into November, throw a party with creepy food and music and dress up. Sometimes, I’ll have several costumes for the season. One for a party, maybe one for another event and one for handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. (My costume closet is vast.) This year, as well as last, I have an extra one to throw in for vacation, as I’ll be attending the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in Walt Disney World. Many park days at the Magic Kingdom in Sept-Nov are cut short for this party that requires a special ticket to get in. From 7pm to midnight, many of the park guests come dressed in costume to enjoy 5 hours of trick-or-treating, dancing, nighttime thrill rides (only specific rides will be open during that time, not the whole park), Hall-o-wishes fireworks display, an all-villain musical show in front of the castle, villain meet and greets, amazing park decorations and, best of all, a special parade opened with the Headless Horseman on horseback. It’s all totally Disney and so out of their normal festivities that it’s worth putting off your vacation until that time of year. WDW isn’t the only theme park that throws a big bash for Halloween though. And if you’re into SCARY for Halloween, you’re in luck!

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  • Many things have been lost, including whole aircrafts and their passengers, never to be found. It’s probable that your flight to Bermuda will be uneventful and your hotel stay and beach visits totally serene.

    • CheapTickets is offering 3-7 night packages to Bermuda, including round-trip airfare and hotel, starting at only $578 per person. Some include 3nd night free, 30% off your stay or free dining!

    • Walk the streets of Jack the Ripper, visit the Vampire Museum and try not to get drugged Hostel-style on this amazing trip. Included:  International round-trip airfare, 6 nights (2 each in London, Paris and Amsterdam), Eurostar travel between cities, HOTEL accommodations, taxes and daily breakfast. Make your own itinerary in these awesome cities and immerse yourself in culture and history.

    Are you afraid of the dark? Maybe do what I did and stay at an Eco Lodge. With no electricity, you'll be frightened until the sun comes up. 

    Hotwire loves to give you deals. Stay in 4-Star hotels for considerably less than regular price. Take yourself to the site of your favorite horror movies with these amazing deals.
    • Spend $69 per creepy night in New Orleans and walk amongst the streets of the infamous vampires and voodoo priests and priestesses.
    • Pray you don’t get trapped in a seemingly abandoned house only to be terrorized by a chainsaw wielding murderer in Dallas, Texas from only $59 per night.
    • Stay far enough away from the streets of Jack the Ripper and the Black Plague with a visit to Manchester, England from $49 per night.
    • That creepy “doctor” from Hostel was from Germany. It’s a sure bet he won’t show up on your vacation, especially if you are staying somewhere nice, like one of these hotels in Frankfurt from $45 per night.
    Read any Sephen King novel to find out why New England is so scary. Not to mention that Lizzie Borden and the Salem Witch Trials happened in the area, too.
    • Expedia is still offering Free Nights with the purchase of 3+ nights at one of their participating hotels. Stay in a New England hotels from $44 per night and trek through some of Stephen King’s famous landscapes from his books. Book by October 12 for travel through December 15th for these cheap rates.

      A cruise may not sound menacing, but what if you’re cruising to creepy locations? That’s got to be a plus, right? I scoured the internet for some fun sounding vacations that were spooky in nature. Visit the home of Dracula, with a cruise stopping in Romania, and hope you don’t get sucked into the mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. You could see nothing out of the ordinary, but you will be guaranteed to see something breathtaking on either of these trips:
      • In 2011, take the Passage to Eastern Europe cruise from Viking for 11 days from $2256 per person. 8 guided tours in 5 countries, including Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Many meals are included Add a 3-night extension to the end of your cruise to visit Transylvania and the Black Sea for an extra $699 per person.  The Viking Primadonna Cruise Ship is a smaller ship that has enough room for 148 passengers. Every state room is an outside stateroom and the ship boasts 2 bars/lounges, a restaurant, boutique, hair salon, atrium, free wireless internet, laundry service, whirlpool and sauna and more. This package does not include international airfare, but it does include transfers if you purchase air with package. You may choose to purchase air separately or through Viking Cruises.

      • Norwegian Cruise Lines would like to take you on a 7-night cruise to Bermuda. Cruises sail out of New York or Boston and stop for you to enjoy King’s Wharf in Bermuda. Aside from all your meals and entertainment on board, you’ll receive free traveler’s insurance for you and your companions and an onboard credit.

      Win a New Year’s Eve trip to London!!
      This is truly a fantastic package to win. See below for everything included:

      ENTER NOW for a chance to win a spectacular New Year’s Eve trip to London for two. The winner will receive complimentary round-trip travel, airport transfers, and six fabulous nights in a private (and luxurious) one-bedroom apartment at Cheval Residences in central London. And that’s just the beginning. Imagine the two of you enjoying . . .
      • Dinner at the world-famous Absolut Ice Bar London located in the heart of Mayfair – its bar, walls, table, chairs, cocktail glasses are all made from ice.
      • An evening at the historic Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, the heart of the London jazz scene.
      • A guided tour of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and a visit to the Shakespeare’s Globe Exhibition, followed by afternoon tea in the Brasserie, overlooking the Thames.
      • A special tour of the Tate Modern, followed by a restaurant meal on the 7th floor, overlooking St. Paul’s and the City of London.
      • A behind-the-scenes tour of the new Wembley Stadium, home to both great soccer and rock concerts.
      • A daytrip to Paris with Eurostar – visit Paris in just two hours and 15 minutes, and when you return to St. Pancras International Station celebrate with complimentary bubbly at Europe’s longest champagne bar.
      London Passes that will give you free admission to over 60 top London attractions. Meet the Beefeaters and ravens and see the crown jewels at the Tower of London, visit St. Paul’s Cathedral (where Prince Charles and Princess Diana were married), or float past thousands of years of history aboard a Thames River Cruise.

      There are so many things to do around Halloween time that it took a bit for me to whittle down the list. I want to do everything and give you a million options, but I restrained myself. This section will be longer than normal though. Aside from Disney's Mickey's Party, other theme parks have fun and scary Halloween festivities.
      • Knott's presents Knott's Scary Farm. Save $6-23 on your tickets by buying them online instead of at the gate, where they will be $56 each.
      • Universal puts on Halloween Horror Nights. While ticket prices don't waver, you're sure to get your money's worth while riding select rides and being scared out of your wits with roaming creeps, themed haunted houses and scare zones. It's like being in your very own horror movie. 
      • Busch Gardens in Tampa offers up Howl-o-Scream. Much like Universal, they have scare zones, haunted houses and themed entertainment. You can't get cheaper tickets for this event either, but it'll scare your pants off, which you maybe can't put a price on.
      • Sea World has a great event for the little ones and admission is included with your regular park ticket. It's called Spooktacular and it offers trick-or-treating, silly and spooky shows and kids are encouraged to come in costumes.
      Now, that's just the major theme parks that have fun activities. There are plenty of other activities the world over that you can get in on. Here are some inexpensive things you can do during the fall season or any other time of the year.
      • The Dungeons are on my list of kitchy and kinda scary (if you're afraid of the dark and mirror mazes where you might be followed) and must-do attractions. The site offers best price guarantee and you can get discounted deals if you purchase a combination ticket with Madame Tussaud's and/or the London Eye. If you plan to visit off-peak hours, you can save up to 50%! You must purchase your tickets online though. Each dungeon (located in London, York, Hamburg, Edinburgh and Amsterdam) walks you through the "streets" of history and winds you through creepy stories and rides that take you from one area of the dungeon to another
      • Paris Catacombs. There are miles of underground tunnels underneath Paris full of human bones that were put there when the cemeteries became overcrowded. Even now they are still crowded, but with tourists. Get there right at opening and beat the crowds. Lines can stretch up to 2 hours long and with prices at only 5 Euros per person, it's one of the cheaper things you can do in France. If you want to skip the lines and go on a 2 hour guided tour with a small group. Viator can help you with this if you're willing to pay more than 5 Euros. For a little more than $54 per person, you are guaranteed access into the Catacombs, which is extremely limited.
      • Plenty of creepy things have come out of London. One of the most famous? Jack the Ripper. He was never caught and you can walk the same streets on a London night with a small group for around $15 per person. Feel some of the fear those women must have felt while standing in a dark alley and hearing about the gruesome and brutal murders that happened on the very spot.
      • New Orleans has always claimed to have a rich history in the occult and creepy myths. For an hour and a half walk among the darkened streets on the New Orleans Vampire Tour for only $20 per person. Many other walks are available, but who wouldn't want to believe in the undead and the horrible things that happen in the shadows of the city?
      • New England always seems to be the backdrop for creepy and bizarre happenings. Stephen King loves to write about New England in his scary novels, too. One such story, which happens to be true, is the tale of Lizzie Borden in Massachusetts. Not only can you stay in the very house both her parents were murdered in (whether she did it or not, as she was never convicted, but moved to live outside of town where she was shunned for the rest of her life), you can also take a tour of the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast. As cheerful as a B&B sounds, this one claims to be haunted. People have claimed to have had many encounters with ghosts while staying there, but if you can't get in to sleep there or are too scared, take the tour. They are only $12.50 per person and occur only during daylight hours, so there's (mostly) nothing to be afraid of.
      • Portland's Shanghai Tunnels are quite a tourist attraction. There is a whole city of tunnels under the Oregon town's downtown area. For $19 per person you take a flashlight tour of the tunnels and learn about how people would be pulled into the tunnels (often drunk), have their shoes stolen and forced into slave labor. 

      • Winchester Mystery House. Tour 110 of the 160 rooms of the house that took 38 years to build and has stairs that lead to nowhere and doors that open into walls. There are several tours to choose from, including a flashlight tour special for specific October dates. Tours range from $25 to $33 per person and should be purchased online.
      • Almost anywhere you go that has open land will have a corn maze. You can go during the day or the evening and enjoy getting lost in a labyrinth of corn! The daytime maze will be fairly tame and the maze at night is dark and may have several spooky surprises. Though you may not be able to take advantage of pumpkin picking, you CAN stop at the general store they have set up and get some local foods to take home, like pumpkin butter and huckleberry candy (okay, that's what we have here in Oregon). 
      Check out some fun musicals for Halloween season. Search for discounts on great theater in London on BroadwayBox. Two musicals that might be of particular interest to you are Thriller Live and Wicked.

      Do you need a costume for any of your holiday outings? Purchase costumes and accessories through ebates to get cashback and discount codes at costume retailers.  

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