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Holiday Destinations

The grand opening celebration at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando ...

Many Muggles, fans and aficionados of the Harry Potter franchise would no doubt be aware that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park and Resort opened last June. And judging by the fact that the park just sold its one millionth Butterbeer (non-alcoholic) beverage, its popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. The success of Universal’s newest park, located in Orlando, Florida, like most theme parks, will be judged on the experiences it offers its guests. Often this boils down to the teeth-rattling speed, stomach-churning loops and turns, or the full-on "shock and awe" of its rides. Gizmag spoke with Senior Vice President, Creative Studio for Universal Parks and Resorts, Thierry Coup, to get a behind-the-scenes insight into the creation of the park’s rides, namely the Dragon Challenge, Flight of the Hippogriff and The Forbidden Journey.  Read More

One of America's numerous repurposed Muffler Man statues, spotted by Gizmag staff near Ann...

They – whoever “they” are – say that getting there is half the fun. While that might not be true for trips where you spend hours wedged into an airliner seat, it can definitely apply to cross-country road trips. Often, the things seen en route end up being just as fascinating as those that await you at your destination. This fact is not lost on the folks behind the RoadsideAmerica website and books, who have spent the past 25 years collecting and sharing accounts of quirky museums, Big Things, “natural wonders” and other weirdness encountered along the highways and byways of North America. Now, road travelers can be alerted to the locations of these must-sees as they near them, via the RoadsideAmerica.com Attractions and Oddities GPS guide.  Read More

The ISS will once again be hosting fee-paying guests from 2013

In March 2010, due to an increase in the International Space Station (ISS) crew size, Russia announced a halt its space tourism service which put seven customers into space between 2001 and 2009 for a multi-million dollar fee. Now Space Adventures, the same company responsible for putting the world’s first privately-funded space tourist, Dennis Tito, into orbit in 2001, has announced that it will once again be offering commercial space tourism opportunities beginning in 2013.  Read More

Yunak Evleri - 5 Star subterranean accommodation

If you are thinking of visiting Turkey on your next vacation and enjoy staying in exotic locations, you are in for a real treat. If a berth at the world's only floating, rotating hotel doesn't fit the bill, how about a sojourn in your very own private cave. Hidden amongst ancient caves in Cappadocia, you’ll find Yunak Evleri, a 5 star hotel, boasting six cave houses dating back to the 5th and 6th Centuries.  Read More

Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi, has opened (to the media) and features a 200kph-plus roller coas...

Where would you expect to find the world’s largest indoor theme park? If you answered "Dubai," you’d be close (but no cigar). It’s basically next door in, Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital. And you might be surprised to find that it’s not another Disney park or Universal Studios attraction – no, the world’s largest theme park is Ferrari World, and it opened today (27 October 2010) to the media. The public opening has been delayed as a sign of respect for the passing of Sheik Saqr bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Emir of Ras al-Khaimah. Gizmag has given readers an insight into Ferrari World in the past, but shortly you’ll be able to visit for yourself.  Read More

There is an increase in tourists wishing to witness tornadoes firsthand

According to a study recently conducted at the University of Missouri, more and more people are paying for the chance to see tornados up close and personal. Mostly within the months of April through June, up to 1,200 tornadoes occur in the US every year. A large percentage of those storms occur in an area known as Tornado Alley, which is centered around the states of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas – although it does extend east as far as Ohio, and north as far as North Dakota. Storm chasing tour outfits, many of which are run by or employ experienced meteorologists, will drive groups of paying “tornado tourists” across this region, in the hopes of witnessing severe weather firsthand.  Read More

Celebrity Cruises is putting the iPad to work a a tour guide

Celebrity Cruises has gone beyond presenting its wine list on an iPad to become the first cruise line to provide self-guided contemporary art tours using Apple's tablet. The latest "first" closely follows the company's introduction of “Celebrity iLounge” equipped with MacBook workstations, a Mac accessories store and Mac short courses on the ships.  Read More

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will be the biggest indoor theme park in the world

There’s no doubting Ferrari has a legion of fans, but are their numbers great enough to justify the existence of a Ferrari theme park? Looks like we’ll get an answer with the world’s first such park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, set to open its doors this October. Although, with the more than 20 rides and attractions including a spaceshot tower that launches riders 62m (203 ft) into the air and the world’s fastest roller coaster that propels thrill-seekers to speeds of 240 km/h (149mph) in just five seconds, the park is sure to appeal to those whose allegiance lies with other supercar marques.  Read More

Earthwatch's 'Climate Change in Tropical Rainforests' expedition (Photo: Zoe Gamble)

It can be extremely frustrating, watching the destruction of our environment and not being able to do a thing about it. Sure, you can give money, write letters and take part in rallies, but... wouldn’t you rather be out there on the front lines, where you could physically help save the threatened habitats, animals and cultures? Well, you can. In fact, you’ve been able to for the past 39 years. Next year, the US-based Earthwatch Institute will celebrate 40 years of giving people the chance to volunteer on environmental research projects all over the world.  Read More

SkyJump - 855-foot controlled free-fall at 40mph

If you've ever been to Las Vegas you'll probably be familiar with Stratosphere, the 1,149-foot-tall hotel and casino that towers above the famous Strip. If you're the adventurous type, you'd also know there's some fun to be had at the top in the form of three hair-raising amusement rides. Now there's a fourth. Claiming the title of the world's highest commercial decelerated descent, the SkyJump takes thrill-seekers on an 855-foot "controlled free-fall" at 40mph - think base jumping, but with a safety wire.  Read More

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