DVC Monthly Preview – September 2018

first_imgShare This!Welcome to the September installment of our monthly Disney Vacation Club preview. This month, we discuss an extension for the Epcot member lounge and, in the Resort Spotlight, we’ll take a look at Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House. Last month, we had news about DVC members being able to enter the Halloween party earlier than other guests (2 p.m. to be exact), and a DVC Explainer on banking, borrowing, and transferring points. You can view last month’s preview here.Booking WindowsThis month, here are some booking window dates to keep in mind. For your home resort (11-month booking window), in September, you will be able to book for dates in August 2019. For all other DVC resorts (seven-month booking window), this month you will be able to book for dates in April 2019.Saratoga Springs Resort is your best bet for last-minute availability, whether you’re using your own points or renting points. Two-bedroom and three-bedroom villas have the most availability, and on certain dates you can still find Treehouse Villa openings. (If you rent points through the affiliate link to David’s DVC rentals, TouringPlans receives a commission.) If you can manage the airfare to Hawaii, Aulani still has limited dates at DVC’s last-minute resort availability page.DVC NewsEpcot’s DVC member lounge.If you’re a fan of the member lounge at the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot’s Future World, good news: It’s returning for another year. It’s a great place to cool off during the heat of the day, with places to sit down, plug in your phone, and enjoy the complimentary snacks and drinks from Coke Freestyle machines. And for kids that need a technology fix, there are gaming stations and tablets available to use.If you blinked, you might have missed it, but a limited-time pop-up shop for DVC members opened within the Marketplace Co-op at Disney Springs. DVC announced the shop, featuring a variety of DVC merchandise and apparel, on August 13 and it closed on September 3. New patterns for Dooney & Bourke handbags and new designs for Member MagicBands were among the items on sale. If you missed it, many items from the collection are available online anytime at ShopDisney.com/DVC, as well as at select merchandise locations at Disney Vacation Club Resorts.Sabrina Soto hosts DVC’s “Behind The Magic” webcast.Disney Vacation Club is encouraging members to watch their latest webcast by offering the possibility of winning a stay at Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. After watching the 24-minute “Behind the Magic” webcast, members are eligible to win a five-night stay in a one-bedroom villa. The prize includes park tickets for four and airfare. The webcast, hosted by HGTV’s Sabrina Soto, features looks at Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Pixar Pier at Disney’s California Adventure, and a preview of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands coming to both coasts. To view the webcast and enter the contest, visit dvcbehindthemagic.com. The webcast is available until September 30.If you missed out on resort guest registration for the Moonlight Magic events at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on September 19, September 26, and October 3, you have another chance to get in on the action. Registration opens to all members at 9 a.m. Eastern time, September 13. Registration goes very quickly, so if you want to attend, plan on being online at 9 a.m. sharp. The final Moonlight Magic event of 2018 will be November 15 at Disney’s California Adventure Park. Registration opens at 11 a.m. Eastern time on October 4.Registration is open for the Disney Vacation Club Halloween Party on October 31 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Inspired by The Haunted Mansion attraction, this event features desserts, snacks, and lemonade; character encounters; face painting; DJ music; a selfie station; games; and a keepsake photo. The two times for the parties are from 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Cost is $30 per person (ages 3 and up). Call Member Services at (800) 800-9800 to book.Resort SpotlightThe Animal Kingdom Villas is actually made up of two side-by-side resorts, Jambo House (which is partially DVC) and Kidani Village (which is all DVC). This month, we’ll focus on Jambo House.A view of the lobby from the fifth floor, where most of the Jambo House DVC rooms are.Jambo House is probably what most people think of when they think of Animal Kingdom Lodge, with its soaring lobby and expansive windows leading out to the savanna. The Animal Kingdom Lodge first opened in April 2001 as a conventional Disney resort. The Lodge’s fifth- and sixth-floor rooms were converted into DVC villas with Animal Kingdom Villas contracts going on sale in June 2007 at $104 per point. Kidani Village would open in 2009.Jambo House has 134 DVC units, comprising 216 maximum available rooms if you were to split the lockoffs. The value studios are 316 square feet and other studios are 365 square feet. Value one-bedrooms are 629 square feet with other 0ne-bedrooms 720 square feet. Value two-bedrooms are 945 square feet with other two-bedrooms 1,075 square feet. Three-bedroom grand villas check in at 2,349 square feet.The value units, which come at a lower point level, are some of the tougher-to-get DVC rooms due to the low inventory. Likewise, Club Level units are also low in supply and very difficult to book, even at 11 months out. Jambo House is the only DVC location at Walt Disney World that has Club Level accommodations. The rest of the units are divided by standard view and savanna view.Giraffes on the Arusha Savanna at Jambo House.The savannas, with giraffes, zebra, Ankole cattle, wildebeest, and other African animals are the big draw for the resort. Many guests refuse to stay anywhere but a savanna-view room. If you’re staying in standard-view room, you can still take advantage of the many viewing areas around the resort to do your animal watching. In the evening, you can venture down to the Uzima Savanna near the pool and find a cast member with night-vision goggles to see the animals at night.The Igbo Ijele mask in the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House.Beyond the animals, you might not be aware of the museum-quality African art and artifacts on display. The resort is home to the largest collection of African art in North America. The centerpiece of their collection is the huge Igbo Ijele mask on display in the lobby. The 16-foot Ijele is created by the Igbo people of Nigeria and used at special celebrations only once every 10 to 25 years. This is the only known Ijele outside of Nigeria.Another great feature of staying at Jambo House is the excellent dining options. Jiko – The Cooking Place is their signature dining location and Boma is their buffet, both offering unique experiences featuring African dishes. The Mara is the quick service location and is where you can grab the popular zebra dome desserts outside of Boma. Victoria Falls is a beautiful lounge located on a mezzanine between the lobby and the lower restaurant level. The resort offers a free culinary tour each afternoon before dinner, where cast members will discuss the decor of Jiko and Boma in relation to their home countries and offer sample tastings.If you’re staying at Jambo House in the fall, you should be aware that the Uzima Springs pool is under refurbishment and is expected to be closed until December. Guests can still use the Samawati Springs pool at Kidani Village.All transportation from Jambo House is by bus, with Animal Kingdom being the closest park. The resort’s distance from the other Walt Disney World parks is a knock against it. There is a van service for transport between Jambo House and Kidani Village or it is a reasonable walk.Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House may not have the prime location of the monorail resorts or the Crescent Lake resorts, but it’s absolutely unique in its theming and features. From the live animals wandering nearby to the cast members from Africa sharing stories from their countries, a stay at Jambo House is an experience onto its own that you can’t get anywhere else on property.Have you stayed at Jambo House recently, or is Animal Kingdom Villas your home resort? We’d love to hear your observations in the comments.last_img read more

Two Plugins to Track Changes on a WordPress Site

first_imgMy client sent me an email message, saying something wasn’t working correctly on their website. They made some changes, but now the site was acting “wonky.” Their words, not mine. I asked, if they installed any new plugins, modified settings for installed plugins, or if they deleted anything. “I’m not sure what happened,”, my client replied. “I don’t remember what I did. Can you fix it?”If this has happened to you, it can be like a treasure hunt trying to discover what the user changed in WordPress. Without some clues, where do you begin? You want to find out if the user:Changed the themeDeleted the themeMoved a widgetGave access to a new administrative userChanged a menuAnd many more itemsTracking down what users, especially users with administrative access, have changed on a WordPress site can be a challenge without a map. Thankfully, there are a couple plugins that provide you a map that can make your treasure hunt a lot easier.The ARYO Activity Log plugin allows you to quickly find out from your Dashboard what changes have been made to the site, and by whom. The plugin tracks who has created, updated, or deleted posts, pages, custom post types, tags, categories, taxonomies, comments and media. Find out which users have logged in, logged out, and whether the user’s login failed. What I found helpful was discovering if a widget was added or deleted (the source of my client’s issue), or if the widget order was changed.ARYO Activity Log is easy to install, with minimal configuration. It adds another administrative menu choice to your Dashboard, near the top of the menu. There are only two tabs in the settings options. You can set the maximum number of days to keep updates (no more than 30 days is recommended). And by setting up custom notifications, you can be emailed when certain events take place.Stream, which was released late last year, offers similar tracking features and functionality, though with more customization options than ARYO Activity Log. Once its installed, you’ll find a new “Stream” menu choice near the top of the administrative menu where you can track changes made to the site’s pages, posts, media, tags, categories, and comments. In Stream Records, you can filter logged actions by connector, context, action and IP address, making it simple to track down changes. Stream Settings offer you more configuration options, allowing you to restrict who has access to the activity log by role or by user name. Using their Developer API, you can create your own custom connectors. According to their description, Stream won’t pollute your default posts table with records or slow down content querying on your site.Both plugins are free. Note that email notifications in Stream are only available through their premium extensions.Do you think you’ll use ARYO Activity Log or Stream for tracking? Or are you using something else to track changes on your WordPress sites? Share your thoughts in the comments. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedShare Your Favorite Plugin: Simple HistoryActivity monitoring plugins are essential for troubleshooting a site when something isn’t working correctly. Without a log of what changed on a website, you can feel like you’re on a treasure hunt with no clues. I’ve written about WordPress plugins to track changes in the past and how they can…In “WordPress”Common Plugins I Install on WordPress SitesI’ve chatted with WordPress designers and developers about the standard plugins they install on WordPress sites. You know, the common plugins you install to set up a default WordPress site. After hearing from several friends and colleagues, and sharing my default setup in online forums and chats, I thought it…In “WordPress”Share Your Favorite Plugin: File ManagerWhen you don’t have the FTP credentials or web host credentials for a site, the File Manager plugin allows you to edit, download, delete files in WordPress. Use with caution, it’s a powerful plugin.In “WordPress”last_img read more

Toyota SA exports to rocket

first_imgToyota is set to produce 120 000 Fortunersports utility vehicles and Hilux pick-ups in2008, as well as 100 000 Corolla sedans.(Image: Toyota South Africa)Janine ErasmusSince 2003 Toyota South Africa has transformed itself from a small local vehicle supplier into a major international car and component exporter. In March the company announced that five years spent upgrading its manufacturing plant in Prospecton, Durban, will allow it to produce 220 000 units this year, 147 000 of them to be shipped to Europe and Africa.These exports will account for 60% of South Africa’s total vehicle exports. Including components, the potential value of the exports is some R20-billion, nearly 1% of the country’s gross domestic product.At a ceremony launching new model Corolla sedan exports to Europe and Africa, South African Minister of Transport Jeff Radebe commended Toyota for its commitment to local empowerment, saying that almost half of its total investment had been spent with accredited black economic empowerment companies.Radebe said vehicle exports account for 7% of South Africa’s total exports, and attributed the ongoing success of this sector to the government’s Motor Industry Development Programme.“South African vehicle exports are projected to rise strongly this year,” he said. “And it is a well known fact that our domestic new vehicle sales increased by a record 22% in 2004, followed by a new record of 27% in 2005, making South Africa one of the best performing automobile markets internationally.”Other dignitaries in attendance included King Zwelithini of the Zulu nation, Japanese ambassador Akihiko Furuya, eThekwini municipality mayor Obed Mlaba, and the vice chair of Toyota Japan, Katsuhiro Nakagawa.Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota South Africa, said the Prospecton plant now boasts of cutting-edge manufacturing technologies. “This historic occasion aligns Toyota South Africa closely with a number of other Toyota global production facilities, each with an annual manufacturing capacity of 200 000 to 250 000 vehicles,” Van Zyl said at the ceremony.“Together with component exports the potential value of Toyota’s exports for the year is in the order of R20-billion, a number that is close to 1% of South Africa’s gross domestic product.”Turkey is the first country to receive Toyota Corolla vehicles from the Prospecton plant, while Toyota vehicles manufactured in South Africa will be exported to more than 40 global destinations during 2008.Toyota’s 220K programmeSince its entry into the local market in 1961 Toyota has been one of South Africa’s most popular motor brands. In 2002 the company, with parent company Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), embarked on a programme to elevate the local manufacturer into a valuable export base that could supply markets in Europe and elsewhere in Africa.At the start of the programme, known as 220K, Toyota SA’s manufacturing capacity was 100 000 vehicles. The upgrade took place in three stages. During the first phase Corollas were exported to Australia. The second phase saw Toyota SA named as a global manufacturing hub for the new Hilux pickup truck (known locally as a bakkie) in the markets of Europe and Africa.The third phase commenced with the announcement that the Corolla sedan was also destined for European and African showroom floors. Both models are produced in South Africa in right- and left-hand drive variants.In order to meet this requirement new facilities and technologies were introduced – a multi-billion rand investment. Said Van Zyl, “This investment was made not only to increase annual production volumes to a required 220 000 units but also to ensure that this volume is achieved in accordance with the strictest global quality standards defined by TMC.”Van Zyl praised TMC for its high level of support, saying that it has led to greater efficiency across the supplier network and allowed the Prospecton plant to adopt true “Just in Time” manufacturing principles, cutting down on lead times and stock levels of components.He said that virtually every area of the manufacturing operation has been modernised – the oldest significant manufacturing facility at Prospecton is a mere six years old. Among the newly installed plants are a water-based paint plant, a press shop expansion, a new facility for manufacturing resin components such as dashboard panels and bumpers, and a new stamping plant. In several cases this is technology that has been introduced outside Japan for the first time.“We now have the production facilities and systems in place to produce at the volumes and quality levels that justify our inclusion in the Toyota global production network. Our quality inspection processes are continually audited by TMC for compliance with international quality benchmarks,” said Van Zyl.Investing in peopleAbout 4 000 new job opportunities have been created by the initiative – Toyota employs around 10 000 people in South Africa. In addition, the company has made a substantial investment in training and has spent R300-million on the development of its workforce over the past five years. Of these, 174 people have visited Japan for training in the Toyota Way, a philosophy that is supported by two core values – respect for people, and continuous improvement.And there have been other benefits. Said Van Zyl, “The 220K project has provided an environment that has encouraged 12 new international suppliers to invest in South Africa. Eight are from Japan and four from Europe. Nine have invested in their own right and three are joint ventures with South African companies. The impact of the Toyota South Africa 220K project is far-reaching and substantial.”Useful linksToyota South AfricaDepartment of TransporteThekwini municipalityMotor Industry Development Programmelast_img read more

5 Ways to Use Social Media to Find B2B Influencers

first_img Topics: Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Originally published Feb 2, 2009 7:50:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 This post was written by Dan Zarella .  1. LinkedInProbably the most obvious way to identify influential individuals at specific organizations is by searching the trusty social network for business people, LinkedIn. A search for your target business or title on LinkedIn will show you people you may already be connected with, either directly or through your connections. This is a good place to start, since you might be able to leverage your exisiting contacts.The social media playing field is much bigger than LinkedIn, and as a recent HubSpot cartoon mentioned, LinkedIn can be a bit of a walled-garden , discouraging “weak” connections. The two other largest social arenas (Twitter and Facebook) are also ripe for this type of search.2. TwitterOne of my favorite features of Twitter Grader is the search function . You can put in a keyword and see the most influential Twitter users who’ve used that keyword, effectively a list of thought leaders in that niche. But if you’re looking to identify influencers in a business or organization don’t limit yourself to just searching for topical keywords, try brand or company names, or even titles. For instance, if you were looking for the most influential Twitterers inside of Ford, a search for Ford would quickly reveal that Scott Monty is the head of social media at the automobile giant. A similar search for HubSpot would show you those HubSpotters who are on Twitter (and there are a bunch of us).3. Facebook Facebook Grader , a newer HubSpot tool along the same lines as Twitter Grader, can be used in a similar way. Keep in mind that this tool is newer and will only return users who have used the tool to grade their Facebook accounts already, but this tool has the potential to be even more powerful, given the much larger audience on Facebook. One example that does return results already is a search for HubSpot.4. BloggersYou can also use a variety of blog search engines to search for bloggers in your target companies or roles. Good ones to start with are Technorati and Google Blog Search , but there are tons out there and they all return slightly different results, so give some of the others a try. You can also search on bookmarking sites like delicious to see which blogs have been bookmarked the most.5. Niche Social NetworksThere are a ton of smaller, niche networks where professionals in nearly every industry gather. Find the social networks for your vertical and search for your target businesses or roles there. A few examples of this type of site include Toolbox for IT , Lawyrs , Decorati , Reel-Exchange and MediaBistro .Then, Connect with Influencers  Once you’ve identified your influencers, use the tools and mechanisms provided by the social site you found them on to connect with them. Send them an invitation to join your network if you found them on LinkedIn. If they’re on Twitter, follow them and start replying to their tweets and ReTweeting their good posts (ReTweeting especially will ingratiate yourself with your targets — people love that). If they write a blog, subscribe to their feed and start commenting on their posts and linking to them from your blog (again, bloggers love getting links, so this is an especially good tactic). Generally speaking, networking and connecting for business purposes in these three ways tends to be accepted.Facebook can be more tricky, so tread with caution here. If it looks like they’re friends with a lot of people, including professional contacts that they might not be actual, social friends with, its probably not going to bother them if you send them a friend request. On the other hand if they don’t have a ton of friends, they’re likely to be using Facebook only to connect with their real-world family and friends, so chances are good that its best to not try to friend them for business purposes. Influencer Marketing Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Download the free webinar for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Top 5 Inbound Marketing Stories of the Week: Media Relations Isn’t Dead

first_img Author: PR Squared InboundMarketing.com really hit home for me.  In a time when we’re constantly reminded of the pending death of newspapers due to the increasingly powerful Web, PR guru Todd Defren Lesson: 1. Translations for Facebook Connect Brand evangelists have surprising potential. Todd Defren Google Sidewiki Influential Marketing Blog Twitter Marketing: It’s More Like Email Than You Think because of the Internet; in addition, with all the biased clutter found on the Web, it’s no wonder that traditional news outlets are still seen as the most reliable editorial source.  Therefore, to get that coverage from credible media like the The Vizion Blog Speaking of the clutter on the Web, what if there were someone whose sole job responsibility was to sort through and uncover the best and most worthy content?  Rohit discusses this role and what it would entail, calling it “Content Curator,” or someone who continually finds, groups, organizes and shares the best and most relevant content on a specific issue online.  Think Lesson: How to Claim Your Website’s Google Sidewiki Apply traditional marketing tactics to the new ways of the Web. 2. , which can be used to translate websites into any of the languages Facebook supports.  Barb’s short article describes the tool, based on the same solution Facebook itself employed to translate its site, which recruited volunteers to help translate the site into more than 65 languages.  The tool will display content in a visitor’s native language if they log in using Facebook Connect.  This of course means that potentially all websites can be translated into Manifesto For The Content Curator: The Next Big Social Media Job Of The Future? Author: of of pulls us back down to earth to show us that, despite what you may think, media relations shouldn’t be dying along with it.  In fact, among the pile of biased content littering the blogosphere, traditional news outlets still stand out as the most faithful, unbiased sources, proving that we should focus on media relations now more than ever before. ‘s Pirate language Author: of Successful techniques from one tool may work for another. Mainstream Media Relations: More Important Than Ever inbound marketing kit You may have to sift through the clutter to find quality content. 3. Author: Download our Bill Hartzer Zephrin Laskercenter_img Originally published Oct 2, 2009 7:05:00 AM, updated July 18 2013 Take advantage of new technologies, and don’t get left out of the conversation (especially if it’s happening on your own site). Barb Dybwad BusinessWeek By claiming your Google Sidewiki space, website owners ensure their own comments appear at the top of all other comments.  Website owners can use this space to promote their site, direct visitors to important pages, and make sure they’re aware of what others are saying about their site.  Although only users who download the wiki will see the comments, Bill suggests it as another way to join the conversation.   Lesson: but on a much broader scale.  , Todd advises us to keep nurturing those media relationships! . Lesson: .  I’m a fan. Mashable Alltop Guy Kawasaki As a public relations professional, this week’s top story on Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results. By some estimates, in just a few years we will reach a point where all the information on the Internet will double every 72 hours.  Does this role already exist in some places, and do we need it? 4.  Advertising Age Photo by Annie Mole Inbound Marketing Kit is here, and Bill Hartzer gives you step by step instructions on how to claim yours and why it’s an important thing to do.  The Sidewiki is an add-on to the Google toolbar that allows any Web user who downloads it to make comments on any website; the comments are then viewable to anyone else who visits the site and has downloaded the Sidewiki.  Lesson: or of NY Times With its new $100 million funding under its belt, Twitter must justify its worth by leveraging the data it knows and translating it into real results and revenue for marketers.  Zephrin’s article makes suggestions to Twitter about how to attract advertisers, primarily by capitalizing on lessons learned from email marketing. Zephrin’s thought is that email-like capabilities — such as the ability to segment audiences, access dynamic reporting, test and optimize campaigns in real time, etc. — would be valuable to Twitter advertisers.  If Twitter can deliver on these basic capabilities for marketers, they’ll have no trouble pulling in advertisers’ dollars.  What do you think? Author: 5. To support the thought that media relations shouldn’t be at death’s door, Todd points out that the number of unique visitors to newspaper websites has grown by 15.8% to 65 million in the past year.  While newspapers may be struggling in terms of earning money, their audience is flourishing.  Why?  Stories can now be spread much faster and more easily of The Facebook just announced the release of its new tool for developers,  Rohit Bhargava Don’t start cutting off ties with journalists just yet.  Media relations is alive and kicking! Facebook Releases Free Tool for Translating Your Site Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more