Top 3 Submitted Articles

#3 – Andrew Green

I’m Andrew Green from Nashville, Tennessee, I study Anthropology at University of Central Florida.

During our last spring break, my family decided to come visit and take the opportunity to also take a trip to Walt Disney World Resort, and I must say it was a remarkable visit and a spectacular experience. We started off with Breakfast at ‘Ohana; it is the perfect place for a family breakfast, I loved the style of service, the food and the atmosphere is top notch. Not to mention that our favorite characters came by and greeted everyone and then there is the maracas and little dance train which was marvelous.

After breakfast, we chose to head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and have an exotic time, our first stop was Pandora World of Avatar, we were able to score a Flight of Passage FastPass which the Na’vi River Journey our top priority. By 10 a.m, we were starting the Kilimanjaro Safaris, we saw all sort of exotic animals and snapped a variety of pictures due to perfect lighting.

Then we went to Creature Comforts Coffee Shop and Bakery for a snack, it is considered to be Animal Kingdom’s Starbucks. They had some crazy animal cupcakes. They have a rotating lineup of Lion Cub, Zebra, White Chocolate Elephant or Cotton Top Tamarin cupcakes that are each like 3 feet tall. Honestly, I think these cupcakes are more about the novelty of the giant cupcake than they are the taste. They sure are great Instagram material.

After our visit to the Creature Comforts Coffee Shop and Bakery, we went straight to Flights of Wonder. This is one of Walt Disney World’s most under-appreciated attractions, and it is truly one of the highlights of the park. Outwardly, it is just a bird stunt show that might have limited appeal, but it’s so much more.

Animal Kingdom really brings it when it comes to dining. For families, Tusker House is the best choice, it is one of the best buffets at Walt Disney World, and is also a character meal.

After lunch, the Festival of the Lion King started, it was filled with acrobats, singers, and other performers in tribal attire and vibrant costumes, in addition to a parade that floats with Lion King characters and other creatures enact scenes inspired by the Lion King in a very lively theatrical show. There sure is a lot of stuff going on, in what basically amounts to a lot of audio visual stimulation. The show just flat out works, and it is almost abstract nature allows the audience to just sit back and enjoy the wow-inducing performers. To cool down, we took a Kali River Rapids, it is a crowd-pleaser that is worth doing if you haven’t done it before, especially on a hot day. It’s a fun raft ride through cool environments. I recommend bringing backup clothes in case of any soaking.

Finally, we ended our trip at Maharajah Jungle Trek, it is another under-appreciated Animal Kingdom attraction, as this walk through exhibit has some beautifully imagineered environments.

#2 – Elizabeth Black

My name is Elizabeth Black, I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada, and I study English Literature at Queen’s University.

Banff National Park is an incredibly gorgeous national park in Canada located along the Alberta British Columbia border in the Rocky Mountains, and only one and a half hours from Calgary. The park features pristine wilderness, totally all natural beauty, tall snow capped mountains and beautiful dense forests, lots of wildlife, a wide variety of hiking trails, stunning lakes and mountain views, and the charming mountain town of Banff, with historic buildings, unique local souvenir shops, a wide selection of restaurants, and beautiful scenery surrounding the town. The atmosphere was relaxing and serene. This national park is truly a breathtakingly beautiful and stunning gem in Canada!

I had camped and explored in Banff twice when I was younger during a road trip with my family, but last summer I decided to re-visit this beautiful national park on a road trip with my mother. Starting in my home province of Manitoba, we drove for 14 hours and finally arrived in the town of Banff on our second day, shortly before noon on a beautiful, warm and sunny afternoon. We ate a delicious vegetarian lunch at Nourish Bistro and spent the afternoon wandering the town of Banff and browsing the cute souvenir shops.

Although our accommodations were in Canmore, another charming and peaceful town situated just 20 minutes south of Banff, we spent our three days exploring lots of beautiful places and going on amazing hikes in the nearby Banff National Park.

Banff National Park is a gorgeous Canadian gem and there are so many interesting and unique things to see and do while you’re there. Here were some of my favourite things to do during my three days in Banff.

The town of Banff is a pleasant, bustling and charming town with tall and beautiful mountains surrounding it on all sides. This town is the tourist hub in Banff National Park and it is where most people choose to stay. You can find stunning natural beauty and landscapes around and within the town and it’s a beautiful place to explore. There are pretty views of the Bow River while standing on the bridge that crosses over it in town.

The streets in the downtown area are lively and usually full of people and activity. It is a pedestrian-friendly town with lots of fantastic restaurant options, a variety of accommodations, clothing boutiques, uniquely local souvenir shops, small grocery stores, gas stations, and other interesting attractions and sights to see. Much of the buildings in town have a rustic yet chic appearance and the streets are very pretty and beautiful to wander and explore.

The Cascade Gardens are a small, beautifully landscaped and peaceful garden area on the southside of Banff Avenue, behind the historic stone Parks Canada building. If you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed by the crowds in Banff, this is the perfect place to escape and enjoy a tranquil area while getting a little off the beaten path.

The gardens feature pretty pathways that lead through trees and flower beds with a variety of vibrantly coloured flowers. There are also some wood shelters and gazebos where you can sit back and relax for a little bit, as well as ponds of water, cute bridges and nice rocks. Located beside the gardens is the historic Parks Canada office building where you can find an amazing view looking down Banff Avenue while standing in front of the building.

#1 – Brady Anderson

My name is Brady Anderson, originally from Houston,Texas, then I moved to New York City to attend Julliard.

As a getaway from everything, me and my siblings decided to visit Luna Park at Coney Beach, it was a day that screamed amusement park, and somehow it ended up being my favourite place to visit.

It is easy to reach the park by the metro. You can get off at the Coney Island stop and the park is walking distance. It felt like unleashing your inner child, we used our New York pass to get a free four hour wristband for everyone. We went on a Sunday afternoon in September, and it was so quiet, four hours was more than enough. You could go on rides, get off, walk back around and go on them again.

You can easily ride the same rides as much as you want, we got to do each ride a few times, our youngest sister did the carousel three times in a row, all by herself!

We had a fun day walking along the boardwalk and pier and enjoying the obligatory hotdog from Nathan’s – home of the annual Hotdog Eating Contest every 4th July. We also walked around the amusement park watching people on the roller coaster rides. It was a fun way to spend a few hours.

With no doubt, we enjoyed all the rides that were offered with our passes, but my personal favourite has to be Thunderbolt, the experience was epic and kind of horrific but still spectacular.

Coney Island has been a staple in New York life for over 100 years. It still is. It is as entertaining as it is tacky, as local as it is touristy. Also with amount of small shops around, you can easily satisfy all your beach needs from the swimsuits and towels to sunscreen and sand toys and Aquarium next door.

I heard on Fridays they have fireworks in the evening, and the whole place just lights up! Me and my siblings go there now everytime we gather together, the place just suits us and it is very family oriented.

So many options. The only downfall was they had some issues with some of the rides, but were quickly resolved. Some kids got sick but sadly they shouldn’t eat anything when they do the rides, it’s a proven fact you will get sick.

Luna Park has something for everyone. They have good rides nothing crazy to make you lose your lunch. Games for children and adults. Carnival food that everyone loves. You have the baseball cyclone team as well as the aquarium. Last and definitely not least it’s on the beach for some great summer fun.

This is a fun place for family with kids of all ages and a Historic Site in one! Even if you don’t like amusement parks, this place is a huge part of American, New York and Brooklyn history, so walk around and have a hotdog. Best to go in the evening because of the iconic lights/illumination.