Dec. 13, 2022

Disney World/Travel News 12-13-2022

Disney World/Travel News 12-13-2022

Disney World/Travel 12-13-2022
It’s beginning to look a lot like time to cover some news! We’ve got Broadway in EPCOT, and Disney Cruise Line anniversaries, tons of people traveled for Thanksgiving, and Italy would really really really like you to mo...

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Disney World/Travel 12-13-2022

It’s beginning to look a lot like time to cover some news! We’ve got Broadway in EPCOT, and Disney Cruise Line anniversaries, tons of people traveled for Thanksgiving, and Italy would really really really like you to move in. Plus discounts on the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, Moana has nearly arrived at EPCOT, Disney bought a really really really big boat, and find out where your letters to Santa go! 


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Remember, life is short and the world is wide. So go have an adventure!



News 12-9

Dan: Welcome back to another meeting of the Gold Key. Adventurers Society. My name is Dan Leonard,

Jeff: Hi Dan.

Dan: and joining me in the studio this week is Heather

Heather: Hey.

Dan: and Mr. Jeff

Jeff: How are y'all?

Dan: Ah, at eight. Our show, as always, is brought to you by Key to the World Travel. Key to the World Travel is a full service travel agency specializing in Theme parks, cruising, and destinations around the world.

Head to for a no obligation quote on the vacation of a lifetime.

It's beginning to look a lot like time to cover some news. First up Disney. See what I did there? It was festive was very festive. I'm


Heather: all the holiday cheer now.

Dan: Wow.

Jeff: I think you're just drunk.

Heather: It's, no, it's this Starbucks peppermint mocha that's doing it, I think. Do it. So Disney has announced the lineup and dining. And dining packages for the Disney on Broadway concert series, which is returning for the Epcot Festival of the Arts

Jeff: is my favorite lineups. There's two things I love. It's outdoor seating at Disney and Broadway.

Heather: I, I feel like you're lying.

Jeff: Oh, no.

Dan: I was gonna say I'm not I guess I don't know enough about these people to know.

Jeff: No, I never do.

Dan: It's not the most exciting thing to me, but that festival is awesome. I

Heather: A festival is my favorite, and outdoor seating in January isn't terrible

Jeff: Yeah. No I'm just being a naysayer. Nay, but I never know who any of the artists are.

Dan: Yeah, because who knows the name of Broadway performers unless they're famous

Heather: I don't get to the Broadway shows until they are on tour in my towns, and it's never the famous people who are starring on Broadway. So, but I like the lineup of shows that they have the excerpts from. Looks good.

Dan: Yeah. So between January 13th and February 20th, they have various singers from Disney Broadway shows including Newsies, Tarzan, Aladdin. Frozen, Ida Lion King, Mary Poppins. And then on that February 20th show, they've got a special extended show that is a grand finale performance featuring several of those people

Heather: Yes.

Dan: So that's exciting. And also to go along with that, you can book a dining package, which gets you some reserved seating to go. With with the show the dining package includes an appetizer, entree, a dessert, or one full buffet depending on what kind of restaurant you're at, along with a non-alcoholic beverage.

And then you get a guaranteed seat per person to the concert held on the same day.

Heather: These are always popular. People don't like to have to stand in. And then end up sitting in the back.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dan: So you need reservations for all these packages. They have them available at.

Heather: Thank you. Yeah,

Dan: Beer, beer Garten coral Reef Garden Grill, Losier Regal Eagle Smokehouse Craft Drafts and Barbecue Rosen Crown Dining Room and the Spice Road Table. You should note that the Regal Eagle is actually not by reservation. Those are same day walk-ups for

Heather: That's cool. I like that they're I don't think they've done that before on a quick service like that.

They're also one of the more affordable options at only $35.

Jeff: And delicious.

Heather: Lue is al almost a hundred dollars for an adult on this package.

Jeff: They're proud of that

Heather: Yeah, you too can pay a hundred dollars for an overcooked steak. I like lue. I just the experience has been hit or miss for me lately.

Dan: I've never eaten there, but from what I understand they are. Far from the best steak

Heather: Yeah. And when they do it right it, it's a great steak place. And they have, I like other things there than their steak. They

Jeff: love their poutines. They have a multitude of poutines to choose from, which are delightful.

Heather: Thank you Canadians for inventing fries with delicious things like gravy and cheese

Jeff: Gravy and cheese curd all over the top of it.

Dan: Oh, that's.

Jeff: heated up meat. I'll have the poutine.

Dan: We're getting really suggestive in this discussion. All of a

Heather: Little bit.

Dan: up meat and your gooey poutine. I'm getting a little I'm getting a little embarrassed over here this we'll talk a little bit. Yeah. Gardens the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind holiday remix. That's the entire name is now open at the Epcot.

Heather: I am a little disappointed to find out that it's just one mashup soundtrack. It's not six different Christmas songs from the seventies and eighties, of which there are a multitude.

Jeff: Yeah, and one of them, they even rerecorded the words, which is like super cheesy.

Heather: run. Run. Rudolph has been rewritten to run, rocket.

Dan: Yes. Yeah. Other holiday tunes that are part of the remix include Jingle Bells Deck, the Halls, go tell it on the mountain, and we wish you a Merry Christmas. There's no changes to the to the dialogue or the video. It's just one new music track, so everybody's going to hear that when you write it for the next, I don't know,

Heather: Month. About a month. Yeah. There's so many great seventies and eighties artists who have Christmas songs that they could have done. I'm disappointed I would've even taken Mariah Carey

Jeff: Yeah.

Heather: Yes. And tell us how you really feel, Dan. But come on.

Jeff: Dan wants for Christmas is not to hear that

Heather: I guess so, but riding that ride with that track.

Sure. It would've been fun. But no, we get one track. I'm gonna give it a, I'm gonna give it a ride and see what I think.

Jeff: I think it'll be fine, but like my son has never ridden it yet, and we're finally going on December 11th and it'll be that song and then we go back like the first week of January with the whole family and it'll probably be that stupid thing again. So he'll hear

Heather: I

Jeff: crappy song twice.

Heather: When is it ending?

Jeff: I haven't.

Dan: it ends.

Jeff: Oh,

Heather: So January you'll be able to catch the real thing.

Jeff: good.

Heather: I'm glad they're not pulling that over into the new year. Like

Jeff: But as far as holiday overlays go, that's pretty lame.

Heather: Yeah, a little bit. A little bit. We can talk about that more later.

Jeff: More next week.

Dan: it's definitely low effort on that one, it's still good, right? I still, I

Heather: I'm still gonna write it when I'm there at Christmas. Yeah. I am. I will write it. 20 times over Christmas. That's fine.

Jeff: 20 times you'll hear that same crappy remix.

Heather: Same song? Yeah

Dan: Speaking of galactic things, that while Disney World Disney has begun discounting the Star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser, star Wars Galactic Star Cruiser voyages, At Walt

Heather: only for Disney Vacation Club members

Dan: that's right. And a 30% discount. And it looks like it's a 30% discount if booking via points. It says 30% discount off the original point chart values,

Jeff: Oh.

Heather: so you have to book it with points and then you can, it says this offer can be booked with points or a combination of points and cash. It's not just a straight cash.

Dan: Is that new? I didn't know that they were taking bookings with DVC points.

Heather: They, yeah, they have been doing that same as you can book a cruise with your points. It's not a great conversion usually. It's really not a good

Jeff: cruise is really bad. I haven't investigated this point. Conversion on this one.

Heather: Yeah, it's typically not great. Yeah, they also charge a $95 transaction fee for doing the

And it applies to specific sailings. There are five or six of them in January and then a couple in February and two in March. And they are it's a limited one per cab, one cabin per member offer. So it is

Jeff: good deal though.

Heather: though. Yeah, it's interesting that they decide, wonder if this is A toe in the water kind of thing, on, on discounting it.

 They're not, the initial booking craze has slowed down and they the first sailings if we call it sailings, those were all going out full. But lately they haven't been completely full. And the trends I've been seeing is that most of the sailing. Are two people per state room instead of instead of more, you know, bigger families up to four.

So there have been a few of their sailings where they've had just one dining seating instead of two. But we're not talking about, there's been some doom and gloom out there on some of the blogs saying that it's failing in their thinking of closing. Yeah. Which is crazy to me. I think it's people who don't understand what it is.


Dan: jealous that they can't afford to

Heather: Exactly. It is, you know, definitely a high-end experience and it's worth the money. But they have been sailing a little bit less full than initially.

Jeff: Welcome to the current state of things. There's not every people act surprised by this, but every sh cruise ship in the world is not sailing a hundred percent full. Every hotel is not booked to a hundred percent. Why are we surprised that this isn't, it's silly.

Dan: And Disney's not surprised. They expected this. They knew that after the initial rush of all of the hardcore people, they were going to have to work a little bit extra to book this thing. And I think you're right, Heather, that this is a pilot program. This is for them to see what the threshold for the discount needs to be for them to get good return Yeah.

on it.

Jeff: I think it'll I think it'll wind up being discounted every year certain times, just like the cruises and the other things

Heather: And the parks, which are very popular, but there are discounts every year.

Dan: Yeah,

Jeff: multi

Dan: it up. I'm certain they'll end up opening it up to the general public once, once they've

Jeff: and I keep.

Dan: Iron out the

Heather: Yeah,

Jeff: I keep seeing people still going, why didn't they put in a pool in a spot this place for these prices? No one gets what this is.

Heather: it's not a, not just a hotel.

Jeff: it's like pop century, but with Star Wars, it is not a hotel that's heavily themed. The whole thing is as if you're

Heather: an experience, not a hotel.

Jeff: Yeah,

Dan: problem is for months and months leading up to it, everybody called it the Star Wars Hotel instead

Jeff: I am guilty of that because the name is freaking stupid and.

Dan: Yeah,

Jeff: In classic Disney fashion.

Dan: If you refer to it as a cruise, then it makes sense what they're doing.

Heather: And I think at some point we're gonna have to see some new storylines so that you can start getting repeat guests. Although I will say I'm about to be a repeat guest and it's gonna, it's not gonna be as the new storyline,

Dan: only ones. There's a lottery repeat guest because there's so much to do that you

Heather: so much.

Dan: run the same story multiple times and have a completely new experience.

Jeff: like choose your own adventure, I'm just gonna make different choices this

Heather: Yep.

Dan: Exactly.

Heather: Although you're gonna have a hard time not cozying up to to your boy

Dan: But even if you,

Heather: Lieutenant,

Jeff: Yeah. Could be a different actor.

Dan: even if you chill out with Croix the whole time, again, depending on when your your bridge training, especially Bridge training is

 You're going to have a completely different

Jeff: Yeah, I have bridge training this time right away,

Heather: Me too. I, and I wonder if that is on purpose because both of us the our initial bridge training was the very last one, which I loved because some really cool stuff happened. But now I have one right at the beginning. So I'm curious how it's gonna change my

Jeff: we have bridge training. We don't our lightsaber training is late.

Heather: ours too. My lightsaber training is the second day, I think, late around when my bridge training was on my first

Jeff: Yeah. Mine's seven o'clock or something.

Heather: yeah I'm really excited about that aspect and I'm going to make a conscious effort make different decisions and see where things go. I also have to pay closer attention at the finale because

Jeff: I

Heather: that I completely

Jeff: was talking about all kinds of stuff. I didn't remember

Heather: Yep. But I'm excited. It is a really great experience, even, I think, even if you're not a Star Wars fan, but I am, so I'm looking forward to it. Just finished watching. The first season of Andor, so I'm pumped. Some of my family members have created all new costumes based on what they saw in Andor, so that's fun.

Jeff: they dressed in prison where now?

Heather: Aiden is going for a Cassie and Andor look. So he's got the chef's coat that you recommended and some things to layer over the top of that. I think it's gonna be great.

Jeff: I'm gonna dress as or

Heather: Perfect. That's my inspiration.

Dan: That's hot. That's hot.

Heather: And my youngest son, who was very blase about it, going into his first cruise and had to be coaxed into the costuming, is already thinking about it now.

So I'm proud of him. He's excited.

Dan: It is funny too though, because he played his game so close to the chest when we were there and didn't let anybody know what he was

Heather: I love that.

Dan: the same thing. He's doing the same thing already. I asked him at Thanksgiving, so you have any strategy going in? Are you planning on doing anything different for this cruise?

Then he just, He

Heather: Would not say. Yep. I'm not tell, he won't tell any of

Jeff: What a surprise. Two, those of us that know him, that he would be that way.

Heather: I love it though. You know, he's got some ideas, but he's playing it close to the chest. He's gonna have his own fun.

Jeff: I don't know what I'm gonna do. I didn't know then. I don't know this time.

Heather: Yeah, same. I do know I will spend a lot of time in the bar just like I did last time.

Jeff: a hundred percent.

Dan: Shocking.

Heather: right?

Dan: Shocking. Yeah.

Heather: Hey, their drinks are cool.

Jeff: Maybe we can do it again next year if they discount it for

Heather: Absolutely. We should take a gold key Adventurers Society star cruiser trip.

Dan: Oh yeah.

Heather: Dan, could we convince you to get on board?

Dan: I don't know. Might be tough.

Heather: That is a lot. . All right.

Dan: Tell me when. Tell me when. And I'm there.

Heather: Okay. Perfect.

Dan: Yeah. So over at Epcot, back at Epcot again, I should say. The scaffolding is coming down around the landscaping for the journey of wa, journey of Water inspired by Moana attraction

Heather: So many words. My gosh.

Dan: And it is amazing cuz it was only a few, it was just a month ago that I was there right at the beginning of November. And the progress that they've made on the theming and the rock work is incredible that was not there when I was there. And now you can see this island really taking shape and with the plants and the rock work, it looks incredible.

 There's some, it's not in this article, but I've seen. Drone or overhead footage. Pictures Yeah, from that recon, what is that guy? Yeah, that guy.


Jeff: Yeah. That's

Dan: reconstruct. Yeah. And it looks incredible. It's gonna be great. I don't know, you know, we were skeptical, but I think it looks awesome. So Cool. I have a

Jeff: I disagree.

Dan: Oh,

Jeff: think it looks dinky and stupid like I

Heather: will say it looks smaller than I was expecting.

Jeff: It's, you know what it is? It's like that dollhouse on a rock that they called a second castle at the Magic Kingdom.

Dan: Yeah. I don't know. Have you

Jeff: But I'm not four years old, so whatever. I'm not the target audience.

Heather: All again, yeah. Again, another thing that I'm not the target audience for, so I really should keep my opinions to myself, but I did think it was going to be bigger.

Jeff: it beats I hear that a

Heather: Nothing from either one of you.

Dan: Yeah. I think one thing is with it being enclosed in the walls, it hides the scale of it. And

Heather: Ah, I got you.

Dan: whole area is turned into a garden and park area, and then you Are you saying they need to scale back the landscaping

Jeff: Yeah. If you trim the bushes around it, it'll seem a lot bigger.

Heather: That's what I thought.

Jeff: You can easily buy a few inches by just trimming up the bushes.

Dan: Anyway oh, speaking of Epcot, I didn't have an article for this, but I did see last week the Walt dreamers point statue has arrived.

Heather: yay.

Dan: At property. I don't know where they have it

 But it is in their hot little hands and they

Heather: So what are we like a year from Epco being done, or six months? I've

Jeff: A year.

Heather: About a

Dan: gonna be, it's gonna be late 23 I think,

Heather: Yeah.

Dan: at the rate they're going, you know?

Jeff: I just, Disney's construction people they hire are like, what is the deal?

Heather: I do not know.

 Maybe Tron will be open by then. Maybe

Dan: It's

Jeff: It took them longer to build Tron than it will take for the entire third gate at Universal.

Heather: Yeah. And that the thing with stuff recently, like rata tui, they've be. And I don't know why Tron is being delayed because they don't have covid for an excuse, but TUI sat finished for a very long time and they just held onto it because of Covid. Tron is completely finished.

Jeff: they have zilch to do to generate excitement for next year. So they're waiting

Heather: so they're just holding onto it until the 50th celebration is over. But it's it's funny because they made it when all, when Tron was initially announced, it was part of the new stuff for the 50th, and it is done and you're still celebrating the

Jeff: they announced Tron the week the original Tron movie came out in the eighties, and they just now finishing it.

Dan: Yeah, there the ride itself is done , there's a lot to be done on the outside. Their landscaping is, and walkways and stuff. They, at least as of a month ago, it was still bare dirt and they were pouring concrete and all kinds

Jeff: Do you remember that time? It took them at one year to build a little walking path over the water to go from the front gate of Magic Kingdom over towards Grand Floridian?

Dan: Do you remember that time when it took them one year to build an entire Theme park in

Jeff: Yeah.

Heather: Yeah.

Jeff: Epcot was like a year and four months or something. All of Epcot.

Dan: construction technology and having to invent all of the ride

Jeff: I think this was pre OSHA though,

Heather: But

Jeff: I'll give them that. There's

Dan: There's that

Heather: and people, and they play laid the asphalt. They poured the asphalt like two days before they opened. Everybody was sinking into it. But you know what? They still opened.

Dan: That's right. Something else that's been a long time in the making Disney Cruise line is gonna be celebrating 25

Heather: 25

Jeff: blew me away. I had no idea it had been that

Heather: It has been that long. It's oof. Made me feel old. It also had me, it also had me running to my Castaway club to see how many cruises I need to take to become Pearl, which

Jeff: right.

Heather: is lame by the way.

Dan: necklace with that

Heather: I've heard that

Jeff: Oh,

Dan: I jumped the gun and made

Heather: you did. We were supposed to let Jeff make that joke.

Jeff: that's, yeah. I hadn't even thought of this. How did I know?

Heather: But yes, the a, a new tier to the Castaway Club in honor of the 25th anniversary. You will go from platinum to pearl.

Jeff: Yeah.

Heather: I'm not sure in what world pearls are more valuable than platinum, but

Jeff: What about Diamond?

Heather: I wonder if they're saving that for the next time they need to add a

Jeff: hundred cruisers or something?

Heather: This one is everyone who has 25 or more cruises will be pearl.

I have to get five more cruises, you guys.

Jeff: I have to say.

Dan: That's.

Jeff: I'm probably at

Heather: have it done by.

Jeff: or something cruises and I'm not interested in 10 more Disney cruises to get to that level. I'm ready to, there's so many other cruise lines and other kinds of trips now I just don't, I don't know, 25 of the same thing sounds

Heather: I don't know. I'm ready. I'm ready to take a Disney cruise in Asia on the cruise ship they acquired on clearance.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah, that's, that was right bef back in the before times when Bob Chap said, Hey, we're gonna, we're gonna be cutting all our budgets, and by the way, we just bought the world's largest cruise ship. You mean?

Jeff: But what a bargain, right?

Dan: Yeah. Oh actually it really was. So this ship was actually, was going to be scrapped because the company that was having it bought Kurt made wa went bankrupt and nobody wanted to buy it.

So the original price for the ship was 1.8 billion Euros. And report reports are that Disney purchased this ship for 40 million. Oops.

Heather: That's

Jeff: doing some numbers the other day when I saw this thing and it was like, they don't see it in the article you sent us the link for, but another article I said they were gonna spend close to a billion. Of their own money to retrofit this thing and get it done. So if they bought it for 40 million, that's still like 1.04 billion.

So they still saved like three quarters to a billion dollars on this thing,

Heather: and it will be their biggest. Ship

Jeff: Yeah, and this class of ship is among the biggest in the whole world.

Dan: Yeah. I forget it was something like I think they said they don't plan on having it to full capacity what the ship could carry, but I believe it said that the ship, if it was full the way it was racially designed, could carry like 9,000 guests or something

Heather: and they're planning to have their passenger capacity be about 6,000 guests and 2300 cruise. It's not, interestingly, it is not the biggest cruise ship in the world. It's 208.

Dan: Yeah.

Heather: gross tons. And the

Jeff: Yeah.

Heather: class ships of Royal Caribbean are 225,000 tons, so they are a little bit bigger, but it's about that size, which is much, much bigger than their, big than Disney's biggest ship.

The Wish, which is currently their biggest ship only carries about 4,000 passengers, so it. It's a big jump and everything I've read says it's gonna stay abroad. It's not gonna be coming over TOSA in the Caribbean. They haven't really said where, but Jeff and I were talking about this the other day, and guessing it's probably Asia, most likely the Asian market.

Jeff: Asian market and this apparently that's a, I don't know what Asian market ships look like or feel like that's different, but this one was designed for the Asian market. So maybe something to do with the way the maybe more cabins, and that's that probably what Disney's gonna have to do is remove some of the cabin for some of their more public spaces.

Dan: That depends. So Happens in Asia, cuz I know What happens there stays there.

Heather: Is it like Vegas?

Dan: No, I just mean just a couple of weeks ago spoke with from Carnival and they are pulling their ships from China because China's staying closed. So they're, they no longer have Chinese,

Heather: Yeah, China is, in my opinion, and you know, I'm not a public health expert, but China is China's sticking to their guns on this zero covid policy, which seems to me to be really unrealistic. The rest of the world has accepted that this is something that we live with now, like influenza, it's it, you're, we're not going to be able to eradicate it.

So I, it's curious to me how long they're gonna, they're gonna stick with

Jeff: Their people are freaking out cuz they keep having to close businesses and lose jobs and stuff.

Dan: They just closed Shanghai

Jeff: Yeah, they had been back open for nine days.

Heather: But that's a good point because the Asian market would rely heavily on China. Yeah.

and I just, if looking at the ship, it made me wonder, you know, I'm not sure Europe has the demand for something this huge. I don't know. I guess I, I'm really curious to see where it goes and

Jeff: deal. They can just sit on it for three years and see where the world goes. What's it matter if you can get a 1.8 billion ship for 40 million?

Heather: Yeah. I guess they could put it in the Mediterranean the other

Dan: sort of trans-Atlantic

Heather: They are for the first time going to Australia. So with is it the magic or the wonder? One of the original

Jeff: One of the dinky

Heather: yeah. And, but the dream is now going over to the Mediterranean next summer. For the first time.

Dan: of round, the Cape of Africa kind of thing,

Heather: World Cruise on a Disney cruise. Yeah.

Dan: been talking about those lately. That.

Jeff: Man, kill me now.

Dan: All right then we know how Jeff feels about it.

yeah. Another stressful travel experience is apparently working tsa the week of Thanksgiving. They screened a record number of passengers the Sunday after

Heather: yeah. Everybody was coming home on that Sunday

Dan: Yeah, two more than 2.56 million passengers

Heather: one day.

Dan: That's the most passengers they've screened since 2019.

Heather: I am I'm kinda relieved. We normally would go and spend Thanksgiving at Walt Disney World every year, and since my son, my oldest son started college his break just didn't line up right for us to do that. So we scrapped it. And , I think I'm happy about it because we would've been coming home on that.

Jeff: Does that never seem low to y'all? That's the world record for.

Heather: But that's

Jeff: Passengers traveling in America?

Heather: that's for one single day. I, that's

Jeff: I've been in Atlanta when it felt like there were 2.5 million

Heather: fair.

Jeff: Just that airport

Heather: They were expecting over 5 million over the that weekend.

Jeff: Yeah.

Dan: The headline's a little misleading too, because that's just like the record since 2019, because. The same day in 2019. Oh yeah. November 27th, in 2019, they screened more than 2.8 million, so they're just saying, oh, this is the highest number we've had in a long

Jeff: Oh, since the Covid

Heather: since Covid, that's getting pretty close to back to normal though.

Dan: So that's a lot of people.

And when you've got that many people going through an airport, you might have problems with luggage. Lost or not getting to your destination. When you, Heather, what do we do when that happens?

Heather: First you say curse words, or at least that's what I do.

Dan: duh.

Heather: but actually. Leading up to your trip, and I have to admit that I don't take this advice that I'm about to give and I really should start doing it. The first thing that you should do before you travel is take a photo of the, with your suitcase open, take a photo of it so that you remember everything that's in it.

Because if you're among the 30% of the bags that get lost, that never get reunited, They're owners. The airlines will reimburse you for the value of everything that was in your bag. But you have to know it was in there. So

Jeff: I'm gonna start just packing big bundles of money in my suitcase, taking a photo and then claiming, Hey, I.

Heather: But so the way you wanna start is having a photo of the contents and also either having a photo of the bag or knowing exactly. What your bag looks like and what the brand is. And if you own a black Samsonite bag, I really suggest that you put some kind of something on it that makes it recognizable.

But the first thing you need to do, if you get to your destination and your bag doesn't show up, don't leave the airport. First thing you wanna do is go to your airline's luggage counter with that photo or description of your. And file your claim right then so they can start looking to see if they can figure out where your bag is.

 It's very rare, but sometimes all those bag tags can get pulled off. I had this experience with one of my clients that was, Going to Walt Disney World back when Disney's Magical Express May it rest in peace was still a thing. and she arrived and all of her family's luggage was there except her bag and they were flying Southwest.

And I sent her. To the Southwest Calen Counter had her file claim and I spent the whole day on the phone with Southwest and Magical and Express. And luckily because she had a distinctive bag when I was on the phone with. Southwest's actual desk at Orlando, they found it and all the tags had been ripped off.

The airline tag was gone. The magical express tag was gone, but she had a purple floral bag. And the lady who was working, it was like, I think I'm looking at it right now, and had me have her describe some of the things that were inside the bag, and then that was how she could prove it was.

Jeff: because there's a lot of tags they

Heather: Yeah, it seems a little weird.

They were all gone, but nothing was missing from her bag, which was good. But we didn't find it until the next day. So she had been able to get a credit from Southwest to go buy some new things. So that's the other thing. Once you've made your claim the Department of Transportation requires the airline to give you some reimbursement for incidentals that you inc.

While you are waiting for them to find your bags, and it's actually quite a lot of money for a domestic flight, the airline has to give you up to about $3,800 if you can prove that what was in your bag is worth that. The weird part is it's lower for international flights because it you're talking about international laws, that's only about $2,000. But so you make that claim, that's the first thing you wanna do. Get them looking for it. And if you have to go shopping, keep your receipts and they'll reimburse you for that stuff. And it, sometimes it can take, you know, it can take them days or weeks to actually find your bag. And if it is lost for good, if you have a good accounting of what was in your bag, they will replace it dollar for. And the statistics say that about 30% of the bags that are lost by the airline are never found.

Jeff: That

Heather: I don't, isn't that bizarre. Exactly.

Jeff: I guess people just steal 'em off the things or something. I

Heather: And it's a lot of bags. They're dealing with millions and millions in bags, but they lose a hundred to 200,000 bags a. On average, which is a lot, and most of those get back to people, but 30% of the people

Jeff: had mine get delivered a day or two late. My mother has had the worst luck when she comes to see us. She's had her bags show up days late many times. It's the weirdest thing.

Dan: They know they they've cut it out for her.

Heather: A lot of people a thing that people have been doing lately is putting an air tag in their suitcase that's becoming more and more common.

Jeff: have an extra air tag. I need to do that. But there's some certain airports were saying no, don't come through here with

Heather: there was it was lusa

Jeff: Oh yeah,

Heather: outlawed it, and then they were, they had to walk that back because they couldn't. They couldn't substantiate that it was gonna cause a problem. I'm actually impressed with how air tags are very accurate. Like they will, once you get near the tag, you can start tracking it with your iPhone and it will play hot potato with you.

 Nope, don't go that way. Go that way. And as you get closer and closer, it'll let you know that you're getting we have a hidden one in our sun. Bike that has, was stolen once and has been attempted to be stolen a couple of other times. So he has an air tag hidden in it now,

Jeff: Great

Heather: But that's another idea.

 Take photos of everything and that doesn't take you too long when you're done packing. Just snap a quick photo and it doesn't have to be a picture of every single thing in there, but enough of a photo that helps you remember what it is you've put in your suit. You know, especially if you're putting anything of value in it, and I don't recommend putting anything like a computer, stuff

Jeff: P A P.

Heather: Bring that in your, yeah, see Pet machine. Nobody really wants to carry that on the plane, but if you know how much it costs and it's in your luggage and you have a picture that you packed it, then the airline has to replace it for.

Jeff: Yep.

Dan: I saw com. It's related. An interesting tech story just yesterday that there, I think it was Alaska Airlines is doing a pilot program with these special tags that they're giving to their frequent flyer customers that use the same screen technology as like a Amazon kind. The ePaper screen.

And so you use their app to print, digitally print your boarding or your luggage tag ahead of time and it transfers it to this tag, which uses like a braided steel cable to put onto your. Bag so it can't be ripped off.

Heather: Oh, interesting.

Dan: so you just have this permanent tag attached to your luggage that then each time you fly, it'll just update the

Jeff: Oh, that's cool. Who was.

Dan: I think I think it was Alaska Airlines.

Jeff: Oh, I fly them all the time out of Birmingham, Alabama.

Dan: It's it's like one of those early tech things that eventually

Jeff: That's a cool idea.

Heather: be.

Dan: across the industry. So yeah, that's moving on to Europe. We keep on seeing, apparently Italian towns are desperate to get people to move there, especially the older, smaller towns that are away from major Metropoli, metropolises, metropolitan

Heather: like Metropoli

Jeff: Metropoli.

Dan: There's this town, let me flex my Oh, let's hear

Jeff: Oh, I love

Dan: town of PR

Heather: Oh

 Pretty good.

Dan: located in the Pulia region

Jeff: It's a space. See,

Heather: where that is.

Dan: I'm Julia from Pulia it's, they are trying to entice new residents to come live there. They will pay people up to 30,000 euros if they commit to buying an empty house and living there permanently.

Jeff: All right.

Dan: yeah. So all the houses for sale were built before 1991 and the selling price on them starts at $25,000. Wow. How

Jeff: give you 30 to buy a $25,000

Heather: how much renovation do these things need?

Dan: All right. That's the

Heather: Probably a lot.

Dan: some of them have been empty for quite some time, so they need. They do need some renovation. However, the pro, the program covers 50% of the costs of purchasing the home

Heather: Wow.

Dan: renovations up to a maximum of 30,000 euros.

Jeff: the wifi like in these little tents?

Dan: I bet you it's great. It says that right now about 30% of the town's housing is eligible for this

Heather: It looks like a beautiful little town though.

Jeff: Yeah, the one in the example in the article is gorgeous. It's if 30% of this town is empty, that's,

 Town is little,

Dan: It's a beautiful, yeah it's a beautiful little old town with a

Jeff: it's like a little hilltop village.

Heather: It's so cute. If you wanna try out living in Italy before you go on this program, there's a whole village with a view of the Adriatic Sea that you can rent the entire village for $1,500 a night,

Dan: What? That's a

Jeff: Let's do Keon

Heather: and it has a castle.

Jeff: Yeah.

Heather: It's about three hours northeast of Rome and the whole village rents for 1300 euros a night, which is about $1,500.

Jeff: Oh, what's the wifi? Like

Heather: Again not sure, but there are there. This village features multi-level houses. Towers a Baroque theater. Sellers and a castle that has 37 bedrooms, nine kitchens a restaurant, and 19 bathrooms.

Jeff: You can make a cool zombie movie.

Heather: This would be really cool.

Dan: 17th century convent and 18th century printing hall with vaulted ceilings, several piazzas and parks, a wine tasting cellar with tapestries

Heather: is this entire village just empty?

Dan: I don't know,

Heather: It's so, it's what is going on in Italy?

Dan: It says most of the village is closed to car traffic. Streets are lined with coffee shops, grocery stores, gelato parlors, and pizzerias. So I think it's just maybe people live in the regular houses and

Heather: I don't know

Dan: The ancient medieval buildings are for rent or

Heather: It says the village can sleep between 50 and 200 people, and about 90 people can stay in the castle, and you have to rent it for a minimum of three nights.

Dan: There's also catering available that can do special events and three meals per day for up to 250

Jeff: right. I'm not even kidding when I say a key to the world needs to do

Heather: I know. Seriously, this looks amazing.

Dan: I think seriously that it's like the whole town said, how can we. Make some scratch here. We'll just make

Jeff: all these empty medieval buildings.

Dan: Yeah. Yeah. So they all contribute to the tourism.

Jeff: Yeah,

Dan: It's a really cool idea though.

Jeff: but I could fly my drone around in there

Heather: I bet you could. It looks gorgeous and really neat. Yeah. We're gonna have to find a way to, to do this. It's about three hours outside of Rome, which is very cool.

Jeff: you want to.

Heather: And it, it says that the same company has a whole village that you can rent in France.

Jeff: Oh,

Dan: Weird What?

Jeff: France gross

Dan: a habit of,

Heather: Stop it right now.

Dan: cheese eating, surrender

Heather: Yeah. Also a medieval village. Okay, this is fun. The the village in France is very close to a nearby city called Condom

Jeff: like the penis protectors.

Dan: That's a sex word,

Heather: penis protector.

Dan: 14 houses there.

Heather: Yeah. There are no TVs in any of the houses in the one in France, but some of them have stereos,

Jeff: bye-bye.

Heather: Just stream it on your laptop.

Jeff: It

Heather: cool though.

Jeff: they have robust wifi.

Heather: I have never heard of being able to rent an entire village, but I'm here for it.

Dan: That the French village here it looks like the castle. From Money, Python and the quest for the holy

Heather: does. We could

Dan: I fought

Heather: by fart in your general direction.

Jeff: maybe it

Heather: English pig dogs. We could do our own recreation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Jeff: Maybe they

Heather: be good times.

Jeff: rented this for 40 bucks when they made poly grail.

Dan: Yeah, probably.

Heather: What a time to be alive. A whole village in Italy and France. It's on my bucket list now.

Dan: there you go. I, and it's interesting too, the listing for the French one says property type entire village. I wonder how many more of these there are around the

Heather: Yeah, exactly. I'm gonna check it out

Dan: Yeah. Big news, the Statue of Liberty's crown is open for guests to visit for the first time in since the Covid

Heather: since the Covid times. Yeah, cuz it's not very roomy up there in the crown. I have been up there and I've never been over there to Ellis Island.

It's just pretty cool. You should try it.

Jeff: I've been by it on various things, but I've never gone on to the island.

Dan: I've been in an airplane that flew into an airport in New York City and that's it.

Heather: That's about it. , you had a

Jeff: you go by it. We sailed by it on the Disney cruise. And we, I've been on it on the way out to the Staten Island on the ferry. You go near it and then one other time, oh, I was doing a site thing tour around Manhattan, and it goes right by it.

Heather: It's pretty cool. I will say it's, so the stairs up to and down from the crown are wrought iron. Spiral staircases and I have no problems climbing up that, but climbing back down scares the hell out of me. I don't, I have a weird thing with climbing downstairs when I can see all the, like you can see through the stairs.


Jeff: Here's a fun picture to paint in your head. Heather has this thing wrong with her, and I had a bad knee and a bad foot thing happening while we were coming down the stairs from the damn Eiffel Tower.

Heather: Yep.

Jeff: That's a lot of stairs because the elevator was like gonna be a 40 minute wait, and we'd been up there too

Heather: Oh, we're only up a couple of levels. Let's just go down the

Jeff: really starts seeming like a lot of stairs when one of you's freaking out and the other one's gonna die in pain.

Heather: Yeah, it took a while. We were pretty slow because I'm like clinging to the handrails I don't know what it is. I'm not scared of heights, but going downstairs when I can see through the stairs just freaks me out.

Jeff: don't like any walkway. I can see through.

Heather: We were on a cruise ship once that had a glass staircase that went down to the spa, and I really wanted to get to the spa, but I really didn't wanna walk down those stairs.

Jeff: was the Royal

Heather: it was, I did

Jeff: inaugural we did. You made your way down there, I

Heather: Yeah. Yes, I did a massage. Yeah,

Dan: hell.

Jeff: You should tell him you're handicapped and you need to, there's gotta be an alternate way.

Dan: It's gotta be a freight elevator, right? Fred?

Heather: am a, I'm a Freie cat.

Jeff: Yeah, I would like to go to the Statue of Liberty and get up in this crown.

Heather: Yeah, you should do it. It's pretty cool. The views from up there are pretty, pretty spectacular and you gotta do it once to save, but you've done it.

Jeff: Oh

Heather: I'll stay down at the right, I'll stay down at the bottom and wave to you Okay.

from the pedestal so I don't have to go down those stairs.

Dan: Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat. And I was wondering, have you ever wondered what happens to letters that are sent to Santa

Heather: I am wondering it now.

Dan: How they get to Santa Claus himself in the North Pole, obviously, because

Jeff: who wants to tell Dan?

Heather: I'm gonna tell him. Don't you dare tell us, Dan. How does Santa Claus get the letters?

Dan: I got two, two post offices that service Santa Claus in the north.

Jeff: Yeah, they do

Heather: Oh,

Dan: they,

Jeff: servicing that pole.

Dan: yeah, one of 'em , one of 'em is Fairbanks, Alaska at the Santa Claus house. And they they have built their own little trading posts there and once, once newspapers and magazines posted about this weird little tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere.

Kids started assuming that's where Santa himself lives. And so,

Jeff: Kids are stupid.

Dan: they are

Jeff: They don't even know where the North Pole is.

Dan: And this is, you know, one of those traditional hokey small town little attractions with giant fiberglass Santa Claus. And you can pet a sad looking reindeer in a pen. And they have a, they have a. The town that it's in is called North Pole Alaska. And so there's a post office there. So if you send your letter to the North Pole, there's a good chance they'll go there and they receive millions of letters a year from children. And the people who run the Santa Claus house make sure that they try to respond to a lot of

Jeff: Oh,

Heather: Oh, that's cool.

Dan: Yeah. And then the other one, which claims to be Santa Claus's main official post office is in the town of. Rova

Heather: Oh, here it comes.

Dan: Finland. It's in Finland. Y'all

Jeff: That sounded like one of those Beatles backward song parts. You're

Dan: Yeah. Play

Jeff: Paul is

Dan: other way around. Yeah. And they've got another hokey Santa Claus exhibit there where you can see weird Finland Indian elves and probably a bunch of reindeer. And they receive. Where's the. They've been handling, they've been the official handlers of Father Christmas's mail since 1985.

 Is an official part. It's a real post office part of the finished postal service, but it only receives letters addressed to Santa Claus

Jeff: That's cute.

Dan: to date since 1985, they've received 20 million letters from children around the world from 200 countries. And they, the office is run by El. Invite the lanterns, take care of the letters, and help Santa to write letters back to the children.

Heather: That's really sweet.

Dan: yeah, if you're a tourist, you can buy a postcard and have it postmarked from Santa's.

Jeff: I think I'm gonna start sending unsolicited dick pics up there. I've never thought of doing this via snail mail, but they come onto something

Dan: See what

Jeff: and I only mean snail because it's slow. You guys

Heather: new hobby.

Dan: Yeah. Sending dicks to elves. I have a's get you put on the naughty list, Jeff.

Jeff: Probably.

Dan: The very naughty list.

Jeff: I think that's a federal offense too. , I think I maybe won't be doing.

Dan: It's Finland. They're very

Jeff: Yeah, that's true.

Dan: Thanks for hanging out with this again this week. If you're excited to experience the magic of the holidays at Walt Disney World or anywhere else, Key to the World Travel has a Butterball Turkey stuffed full of expert travel planners that says that because I forgot to rewrite a new thing after Thanksgiving.


Dan: Key to the World Travel has Santa's magic sleigh, stuffed, full of expert travel planners ready to make your vacation dreams of reality. Head to to get started with a no obligation quote.

Word of mouth is the best way to help us grow our show. If you have a friend or two who you think would appreciate our special brand of Globe Trotting jack-assery, tell them what makes our show so great and send them our way. You can find links to subscribe to the show on your favorite apps and all the latest updates at We can't wait to hang out with you again later this weekend.

We'll see you real soon.

Heather: Hi, y'all.

Jeff: Thanks for letting me jingle your bells.

Dan: Wow.