Travel briefs


Theme parks

Legoland beefing up attractions

for toddlers

Legoland Florida has closed Duplo Village, its toddler area, and will use the slow season to add new attractions to it. The area will be called Duplo Valley when it reopens in the spring. It will have new farm-themed attractions and an air-conditioned indoor play area, as well as a mini tractor ride, and a water play area. A new train will be a central feature. Toddlers will be able to board a train on their own or with their parents to watch countryside-themed scenery.

Iron Man coming to Hong Kong Disney

Hong Kong Disneyland is adding an Iron Man-themed area in the hopes that the Marvel superhero’s success at the Chinese box office will help draw more visitors to the underachieving resort.

The park said the Iron Man Experience, set to open by late 2016, will include a thrill ride that will let visitors “take flight with Iron Man on an epic adventure” involving a “battle against alien invaders” across Hong Kong.

Fans will also be able to take photos with the action character, view the different Iron Man suits created by alter ego Tony Stark and visit a gift shop.

It’s the latest in a series of expansions aimed at bolstering visitor numbers at the struggling park, which has failed to draw as many tourists as expected because of its small size.

At just 311 acres when it opened, Hong Kong Disneyland was the smallest of California-based Walt Disney Co.’s parks worldwide.The Iron Man attraction could help Hong Kong Disney fend off competition from bigger local rival Ocean Park, which draws more visitors. It would also help with competition from a Disney park under construction in Shanghai that is expected to open by the end of 2015.

Cruise lines

MSC announces shipboard shows

MSC Cruises has announced a host of new entertainment options aboard the MSC Divina, which starts year-round sailings from PortMiami next month.

The cruise line said it will offer a changing lineup of performances, including ABBA tribute group Abbacadabra on special three-night sailings on Nov. 20 and Dec. 7. Other performers will include impressionist Scott Record, magician Levent and various Dueling Pianos entertainers.

A new outdoor screen on the pool deck will feature movies and sports events, and new guest enrichment programs will include stargazing and astronomy classes, wine tastings, mixology instruction, ballroom dancing lessons and Italian language classes.

MSC has added some activities for young passengers, including a Smurfs-themed program for kids and a prom and flash mob dance workshop for teens.

Norwegian names next two ships

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ next two ships will be named the Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Escape, based on 100,000 votes cast by fans, the line announced last week.

The ships, scheduled to be delivered in 2015 and 2017, will be similar to but slightly larger than the Norwegian Breakaway, which debuted in New York in April, and the Norwegian Getaway, which will be delivered in January and sail out of Miami. Called Breakaway-Plus ships, they will be the largest in the line’s fleet.

Miami Herald

wire services

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