Happy new year! We’re taking a look back to find the gold in the turd of a year that was 2020. But first, the year’s final travel news, including Snow White’s new Disneyland digs, a first look at the Disney Wish cruise ship, and the world’s most expensive and stupid taco. Pour a toast and find someone to kiss at midnight, it’s time to hit the trail with the Gold Key Adventurers Society!
Happy new year! We’re taking a look back to find the gold in the turd of a year that was 2020. But first, the year’s final travel news, including Snow White’s new Disneyland digs,a first look at the Disney Wish cruise ship, and the world’s most expensive and stupid taco. Pour a toast and find someone to kiss at midnight, it’s time to hit the trail with the Gold Key Adventurers Society!
- Snow White refurb unveiled at Disneylandhttp://bit.ly/DLSnowWhiteRefurb
- Quintana Roo tourist taxhttp://bit.ly/QuintanaRooTax
- WDW Water Park opening dateshttp://bit.ly/BlizzardBeachReopenDate
- Bermuda/Costco mail in Covid testshttp://bit.ly/BermudaCostco
- Disney Wish Atrium Previewhttp://bit.ly/DisneyWishAtrium
- World’s Most Expensive Taco at Cabo Resorthttp://bit.ly/MostExpensiveTaco
Well guys, we made it. 2020 threw everything it had at us, from a global pandemic and the associated hit to the global economy and travel industry, to murder hornets, solar flares, wild fires, volcanic eruptions, a whole buttload of hurricanes, and the most...eventful presidential election anyone could have imagined, and we made it out the other end. We baked bread and planted gardens, did just about everything virtually over video conferences, spent so so so so much more time with our families, found safe new ways to fulfill our wanderlust, and dreamed about where we’d go and the adventures we’d have once the rest of the world opened back up to travel. Let’s start by taking a look back
- In January we, started off with a look at some of the exciting new attractions that were slated to debut in theme parks in 2020-and some of them even opened this year.
We also talked about cuddling cows for therapeutic and other reasons at a B and B in upstate New York (http://bit.ly/CowCuddlesGKAS), some of the outlandish things we’ve overheard guests say while visiting the Disney theme parks, and Jess took us on a tour of Denmark’s sick, twisted theme park masterpiece, Bon Bon Land (http://bit.ly/GKASBonBonLand).
- In February, we made some travel trend predictions for 2020 that mostly didn’t pan out. Maybe they’ll come back around in 2021. We also learned about the majestic quokka, visited a bizarre and slightly sad military theme park in Transylvania (ArsenalParkKTTW),and bathed in Ramen in the most savory spa in Japan (tp://bit.ly/RamenSpaKTTW) We also took a look at some of the best hidden gems at Walt Disney World, and visited the Phallological museum in Iceland (http://bit.ly/PhallologicalMuseumGKAS). Then we talked about all our favorite Disney Parks parties, Barbecue came to EPCOT’s American pavilion, and we learned all about Tokyo’s Penis Festival (http://bit.ly/KanamaraMatsuri )
- March is when things started to get a little weird for most of us, and we started it out with a visit to a themed experience in a Soviet bunker Lithuania which lets you see what it was like to live in the USSR (http://bit.ly/SovietBunkNewsStory). We also took a quick trip to Walt Disney World right before it temporarily shut down, where we experienced everyone’s favorite NBA Experience at Disney Springs, and the newly opened Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Then we shared some of our favorite ways to bring the magic of the Disney parks into our homes for 2020’s worst travel trend, staycations, and explored not one but two theme parks dedicated to letting you experience the Buddhist version of hell.
- April started with travel dreams as we discussed our bucket list destinations with special guests and our personal troubadours the Outer Vibe (www.outervibe.com), and Jess introduced us to South Korea’s Loveland Park, a racy sculpture garden (https://bit.ly/LovelandParkNSFW). Then we dared each other to get adventurous with weird and wonderful new experiences around the world, went on a “Night Walk” border crossing experience in Mexico (https://to.pbs.org/2VJoaBV), and finished out the month with a lesson in how to survive a bear attack where we met our friend Punchy The Bear (https://bit.ly/AoMBearAttack), explored the creepiest items in museums around the world including the infamous NecroPants (https://bit.ly/CreepiestItemsAtTheMuseum), and took a tour of all our favorite bars in Walt Disney World,
- In May we were still thirsty, so we took our bark crawl to Universal Orlando Resort, and also visited a South Korean theme park dedicated to all aspects of the humble bathroom (https://bit.ly/RestroomCulturalPark). Then we explored some of our favorite travel movies, and shared our end of term research papers on US travel destinations and theme park history.
- June brought news of the Orlando theme parks reopening, so we spent some time looking at what a trip to a theme park in the times of the big sick would look like, Heather shared a trip report from the freshly reopened Universal Orlando Resort, and we explored the all American road trip vacation. We also visited a real life West World style amusement park in Japan, met the Social Distancing Skunk Ape, the Wizard of Bras, and our good friend Skinny Pete when we visited the National Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa.
- In July we continued our look at classic Summer Vacation destinations with episodes on amusement parks and water parks, before closing out the month with a trip report from the freshly reopened Walt Disney World Resort. We also talked about exploring the outer reaches of earth in a space balloon, and the new Jason Bourne Stuntacular, with special effects so real you don’t know where the real world ends and the screen begins. We visited the skull crushing Action Park in New Jersey (https://bit.ly/ActionParkGKAS), learned to scream inside our hearts ,and toured the sadly defunct World of Sid and Marty Krofty theme park (https://bit.ly/WorldOfSidAndMartyKroftAO).
- In August we celebrated our 1 year anniversary with an Ask Me Anything episode. We also talked about our travel dreams for 2021, and took a tour of the best restaurants at Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts.
- September was mostly devoted to Universal Orlando Resort, with a tour of all our favorite things to do at Universal, plus a look at our favorite places to eat, shop, and be entertained at Disney Springs.
- Then we kicked off October with a trip report from our visit to Universal, before spending most of the month getting spooky-we visited haunted destinations around the world, and took a deep dive into the Haunted Mansion. We also did a little armchair imagineering and designed our own theme park rides based on Disney movies, and learned about the secret world of Japanese cuddle cafes.
- We’ve kept December pretty low key, watching travel TV shows, celebrating Walt Disney’s Birthday, and celebrating holiday traditions around the world, met the Yule Lads (https://bit.ly/YuleLadsArticle), and looked forward to our travel lives getting a little closer to returning to normal in 2021 with the approval and roll out of vaccines for the COVID-19 virus.
As always, a huge thank you to our sponsor, Key to the World Travel. For all your travel needs, Key to the World's expert travel advisors are standing by. Make sure you tell them the Gold Key Adventurers sent you!
Thanks to Outer Vibe for the use of their song Hoka Hey off of the album Hoka Hey as the intro and outro of our show. For tour dates, merch, music and more, check them out at www.outervibe.com.
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Remember, life is short and the world is wide. So go have an adventure!