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'Cars Land' Starts its Engines at Disney California Adventure Park

201206-b-cars-land-disneyjpgUSA Today Travel | The centerpiece of Disney California Adventure Park's five-year, $1.1 billion tune-up is off to the races with thumbs-up reviews—but would-be visitors to the Anaheim park's new 12-acre theme land can expect a traffic jam of fellow admirers over the next few weeks.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the next two weekends are likely to be particularly crowded when up to a million annual passholders join regular park visitors at Cars Land before a summer blackout for the passes begins, and says Disney California Adventure could be forced to shut its gates and direct fans to its neighboring big sister, Disneyland.

Disneyland had to turn away visitors for several hours when crowds overwhelmed the park during a recent 24-hour Leap Day event, the paper notes. (Photo credit: Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort)

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8 Gadgets to Keep Kids Busy While Traveling

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More than 34 million Americans are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home this Memorial Day weekend—and most are be driving. Pack these eight gadgets to keep your kids entertained while you’re on the go. 

Travel Kiddy Kids Travel Journal: Ages 5+
Older kids can personally document their journey with this customizable journal. With pages for maps, favorite places, daily activities, and favorite events kids can create their own unique souvenir of their adventure. $10
Travelkiddy.com


> Related: America’s Best Family Hotels

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United Airlines Ends Coach Preboarding for Children

CNN  |  As families prepare for air travel this coming Memorial Day weekend, United Airlines won't be offering early boarding to families in coach with small children.

Joining a handful of other carriers, United made the policy shift in late April with little fanfare.

Previously, families with small children flying coach were allowed on aircraft before general boarding, a convenience for moms and dads trying to herd their kids across the friendly skies.

"We figured it would be better to simplify that process and reduce the number of boarding groups," said United spokesman Charles Hobart. The airline does allow passengers with children traveling in first class or business class to board early. ...

Kate Hanni of flyersrights.org calls the move "very anti-family."

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Mom, Are We There Yet? 135+ New Theme Park Attractions Coming This Summer

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Huffington Post  |  At least 135 new attractions are coming to America's theme parks this summer, a trade industry group says, with new roller coasters, water rides and a Legoland among the highlights.

The thrill rides and attractions will touch 24 states and more than 50 theme parks, museums and other destinations represented by the IAAPA, an industry group representing more than 4,000 members.

Disney, for its part, announced plans to expand its offerings at Disney World this spring, while over in California, Disney Land plans to open "Cars Land" in June.

Here's a small sampling of the attractions to come, and where you can check them out this summer... READ MORE.

Photo courtesy of whomanbc

Related:
Coolest New Disney Vacations
World's Strangest Theme Parks
Coolest Disney Rides
Scariest Thrill Rides on the Planet

Free Admission to all National Parks Starting Tomorrow

Attention nature lovers, the outdoor-obsessed, and fresh air freaks: This weekend marks the kick-off of National Park Week (Apr. 21-29), the one week a year (actually, it's nine days) when all of our nation's 397 parks open their gates to the public and admission is free. Yes, free! How will you explore 84 million pristine acres?

Mommy Bloggers Name Favorite Family Spring Break Spots

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There’s no arguing mommy bloggers are the reigning queens of the blogosphere. Between sharing their personal roller-coaster rides of daily family life, many also like to travel—far far away it turns out. We asked some of our favorites mom bloggers to tell us where they like to decamp with their families this time of year—and keep their sanity:

PUERTO RICO

I love Puerto Rico.  It's close enough to home but exotic enough to feel like it's the other side of the world.

—Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. Tagline: “Like Mother Teresa, Only Better.” Lawson also co-authors the Houston Chronicle’s Good Mom/Bad Mom, and her book "Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A (Mostly) True Memoir," about her charming if bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, debuted earlier this year. Follow her @TheBloggess.



LONDON and PARIS

We usually head to Europe at Spring Break—although the weather can be iffy, Springtime isn't too hot and it's not as crowded as it is in the summer. Last year we went to London and Paris.

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5 High-Tech Ways to Make Travel Fun for Your Family

Modern Parent's Guide cover

Look around on your next vacation, and you’ll notice something striking: From kids to parents and working professionals, nearly everybody’s got their head buried in an iPad or cell phone screen. Given the rise of smartphones, apps, tablet PCs and mobile devices, technology has become intrinsically linked with today’s travel experience. Happily for families, here’s why it’s the best thing to happen to cross-country voyages since noise-canceling headphones… and how to squeeze more fun out of it than your average in-flight magazine.

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Book Now! T+L Trip of the Month - Exploring Alaska with Black Tomato

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Travel + Leisure's March Trip of the Month is an adventure in the far north with U.S.- and U.K.-based tour operator Black Tomato. In association with Travel + Leisure Elite Traveler, our travel club for deals on hotels, cruises, and more, the Trip of the Month offers T+L readers exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime itineraries from the world’s top tour operators.

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TODAY Show: Family Spring Break

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Looking for great ideas for your family spring break? T+L Feature Director Nilou Motamed shares some terrific deals for getting away this season with your brood.

TODAY Show: Best Spring Break Getaways

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Looking for ideas for a warm-weather spring break getaway? T+L's deputy editor Laura Begley Bloom shares her picks for the best spots to unwind—and save—this spring.

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