Destinations

Visiting the Andalucia region of Spain is the quintessential Spanish experience. Everything from the charm of the white hill towns, to the flamboyant Flamenco dancers, to bull fighting matadors, to tasty tapas feels like a page right out of a travel magazine. Also in this region you’ll find the Alhambra in Granada and the Mezquita in Cordoba that melds Europe and Islamic architecture into a mesmerizing experience. The nearby Costa del Sol is a perfect place to slow down and soak up some Spanish sun.

The large cities of Andalucia - Seville, Cordoba, Granada - are becoming increasingly connected with the rest of Spain as the AVE high speed train connects them to each other and Madrid. However, you might consider renting a car or hiring a driver in this region for the convenience of wandering off the beaten path and exploring the small nearby hill towns. The distances between cities are short, no more than a couple of hours. Or, if you’re looking for a central home base, consider Marbella along the Costa del Sol.

Seville is the capital of this region and the 4th largest city in Spain and yet, the city itself is intimate and very walkable. By staying in the city center it is quick walk to the top sights of the Alcazar, Cathedral, and Barrio Santa Cruz - Seville’s Jewish Quarter.

This past October I had the opportunity to experience a guided tour with TRAFALGAR called the “European Dream”. We started in Rome and had a great sightseeing tour of this amazing city with the ancient ruins and Vatican City, especially viewing Michelangelo’s amazing ceiling. After Rome we traveled north into the beautiful Tuscany hillside and had a delicious lunch in a local castle hosted by the owners. We continued onto Florence and enjoyed all of the cultural events. Next was the exciting island city of Venice with gondola canal rides and glass blowing demonstrations.

After Venice we traveled through beautiful picturesque Switzerland to Lucerne. A must is a cogwheel rail ride up one of the mountain peaks for panoramic views. Next we ventured to Paris enjoying the rolling hills of Burgundy and scenery of beautiful France on the way. Paris is an amazing city. We enjoyed strolling the Champs-Elysees and a city tour. A must in the evening is a scenic boat ride on the Seine River with the Eiffel Tower lights glittering in the background. We then continued onto Calais where we took a ferry across the English Channel to London and experienced the heritage of this modern city.

This was a fast paced tour, but enjoyable and definitely great for first time visitors in Europe. Trafalgar does an exceptional job. Our guide was very cordial and knowledgeable. I highly recommend Trafalgar Tours.

Welcome on board!

All the best,
Claudia Miller
Morris Murdock Travel - Draper

(801) 483-5236
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Visiting Disneyland in the Fall is a great time to experience some seasonal fun! On select dates September through Oct.31, for an extra fee you can enjoy Halloween time at either Disneyland or the California Adventure Park. Which ever park that is hosting the event, that park will close early and then it will reopen to those who bought the party tickets. The park will then stay open until midnight or 1:00 am.

These parties and costumes are so fun! It is amazing to see how creative people are with them! Even your Mickey and Minnie and several of your other favorite Disney Characters are dressed up for Halloween. Many costumes people come dressed in are Disney themed – while others include characters from movies or T.V. Scattered around the park are “Trick or Treat” stations where you may get a hand full of candy, snack crackers, raisins or fruit leather.

The atmosphere areas have Halloween themed characters, misty fog and special villain themed parades and water shows. For me the best is the Spooky Halloween Screams fireworks show! The castle and Main Street store fronts come alive with floating bats and ghosts. The show is hosted by Jack Skellington from The Nightmare before Christmas and Jack’s ghost dog Zero comes flying through the sky around the castle. There are plenty of villains who join in the fireworks show.

There are special is a special themed makeover to some of The Haunted Mansion which is turned into Haunted Mansion Holiday featuring characters from The Nightmare before Christmas. Both parks have updated theme rides to enjoy.

There are special treats and snacks, like Pumpkin Beignets, Hot Apple Cider, Hot chocolate and spooky caramel apples. There are also cool souvenirs to buy to remind you of the fun times you encountered at the Halloween Party.

This is a great event and everyone should experience once in a lifetime! If you are tired of doing the Character meals – why not give the Halloween party a try!

Safe Travels!

All the best,
Karen Gerlach
Morris Murdock Escorted Tours

(801) 483-5213
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I remember I was 12 years old when the original Star Wars movie debuted back in 1977. I must have seen the iconic show over 10 times that first year. I knew I was hooked and would be a Star Wars junkie for life! I was ecstatic back in 2015 when Disney announced they would be constructing a “Star Wars Land” at both Disneyland & Disneyworld. Fast forward into hyperspace to May 29, 2019 and the long-awaited attraction has finally arrived. Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge!

I was honored to be able to attend the press event and the grand opening of Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland. I was totally amazed of how I felt like I had been transformed from reality to a “space land” far, far away! So much to see and do. Each nook in this vast 14-acre new expansion is filled with something to uncover including shops to purchase & build Star Wars memorabilia and restaurants featuring galactic food options. Then turns your attention to the masterpiece, the breathtaking display of the Millennium Falcon, which has been recreated to scale in the middle of the Black Spire Outpost. One could spend hours just staring at the attention to detail of this legendary spacecraft.

Disney pulled out all the stops for the world premier and opening of Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge with appearances from Bob Iger, Disney’s Chief Executive, famed director George Lucas, and legendary stars including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Billy Dee Williams. After a short ceremony and traditional Disney fireworks, Bob Iger declared that Galaxy’s Edge was officially opened for business!

We then had the opportunity to experience one of the main two attractions, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. (The land’s second attraction, Rise of the Resistance, will not debut until later this year.) The entrance to the ride is as impressive as the ride itself. In classic Disney fashion, you are in awe and are mesmerized by all the decorations & decor in the hanger as you work your way through the queue to the cockpit. Smugglers Run is very interactive and feels like a cross between Star Tours and a video game. Six people are in the cockpit of the “Falcon” and each person has a job to do. There are two pilots, two gunners, and two engineers. Regardless of how well or lousy you do with your assigned task, you will make it back alive after your flight and you will actually feel like you’ve been inside a Star Wars movie!

Disney has certainly hit a home run on the planet Batuu with Star Wars, Galaxy’s Edge. Be prepared to relive your fondest Star Wars memories and create new experiences with family and friends. It’s literally a different world with so much to explore. As you visit this magical destination you will greeted with such phrases as “Bright Suns” & “Rising Moons” and you’ll learn the meaning behind the mantra “Unite the Spark, Light the fire!”

Brent Jenson

If we can help plan your next Disneyland to Disney World vacation, please contact one of our Morris Murdock Disney specialists!

Phone: 800.944.8018

Business Days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

 

When planning a trip to Europe for myself and my 3 sisters, we wanted a stress free trip that would provide the active lifestyle we wanted along with the absence of trying to choose where we were going to stay and most importantly….where were we going to eat! Having only been on large cruise ships before, getting onto a European river cruise with only 81 staterooms is a delightful surprise. I chose AMA waterways for several reasons, first the itinerary and dates fit perfectly for me and my sisters. Secondly for the reviews and comments made by my fellow co-workers, letting me know AMA is an amazing product. And finally the beautiful pictures on the AMA website, which come to find out after being on the ship is such a true representation of the product.

We arrived 2 days before our cruise so we could explore Zurich and Lucerne. What a magical city Lucerne is, it is a must see if you are traveling in this region. Taking the train up to Basel, we left early so we could explore the city before sailing, train time was right around 50 minutes from Zurich. The AMA staff were very accommodating since we arrived around 9:00 am and they were still disembarking passengers from the previous cruise, they took our luggage and told us that it would be in our stateroom once we returned. Sure enough, once we returned around 2pm, our luggage had been placed in our stateroom and they had a lunch buffet set up that was perfect after a morning of sightseeing.