5 Tips for Slackers Visiting Pandora at Disney World

If there are no Pandora Fast Passes available for your Disney World vacation, don’t worry. Here’s a strategy for riding BOTH Na’vi River Journey and Flight of Passage in 2 hours!

“Did you book your FastPass+ yet?” My sister-in-law asked this question every time we talked about our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World. “Nope. I’ll get to it,” was my standard reply. When I finally opened the My Disney Experience app (while riding on the Magical Express from the airport to the Animal Kingdom Lodge), there was no availability for any of the popular rides, including Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in the new Pandora – The World of AVATAR.

When visiting Pandora without a FastPass, be sure to catch the Tree of Life Awakening in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Watching the Tree of Life is a popular nighttime activity in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

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Mangia! Arthur Avenue – NY’s Other Little Italy

If your summer plans include a family trip to the New York Botanical Gardens or Bronx Zoo, take a detour to Arthur Avenue before heading home or back to your hotel. Insiders consider it the real “Little Italy”. Authentic or not, the food was delicious and it’s a worthwhile detour if you’re visiting attractions in the Bronx. Continue reading

Where Have You Been All My Life, Disney Springs?

What to see at Disney Springs include a hot air balloon for tethered rides.What to See at Disney Springs

I had no idea what to expect when I climbed the stairs to the pedestrian walkway leading to the entrance to Disney Springs.

And I’m glad I didn’t. Continue reading

3 Perfect Places to Travel in 2017

Ask and ye shall receive.

farms make perfect places to travel to see sunflower in field at dusk

Photo: Cathy Bennett Kopf/The Open Suitcase LLC

I posted my request for submissions for the best places to travel in 2017 a couple of weeks ago, and held my breath.

I expected some smart alecky proposals, but, instead, was intrigued by the compelling suggestions that I received.

One entry stood out, standing taller than the other sunflowers in the patch. Continue reading

Help! I Need Travel Ideas for the New Year

The Open Suitcase needs travel ideas for the new year. Where’d you go in 2016? What did you love? Or hate? Leave your suggestions for places to visit, foods to eat, and things to do, or not do, in the comments section for a chance to win some travel inspiration.

quebec-city-street-with-orange-balloons

The calendar flips in a few days and I need travel ideas for the new year. It’s how I survive winter.

I’m inviting you to play a round of show and tell. Continue reading