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Disney Shares Concept Art for New NBA Experience

by on October 19, 2017
Filed under: Disney Springs, Recent News

It’s been known that The NBA Experience would be replacing the now former Disney Quest. Today, Disney shared not only more details, but also a piece of concept art showing what the new complex would look like.

The NBA Experience

Copyright Disney

This new establishment which will be found on the West Side of Disney Springs,  is going to be inspired by the modern architecture of new NBA arenas around the country.

The state-of-the-art space will include interactive games and competitions for Guests to participate in, immersive experiences, a retail store and a restaurant.

NBA President, Global Partnerships Sal LaRocca said, “This one-of-a-kind experience is sure to be enjoyed by basketball and Disney fans of all ages who visit Disney Springs from around the world.”

The NBA Experience is slated to open in the summer of 2019.

Julia’s Best Week Ever, October 19, 2017: Epcot Expedition

by on October 19, 2017
Filed under: Best Week Ever, Epcot 3 Comments

Hi Everyone! Yep, it’s me again for another Best Week Ever. Thank you all so much for your comments on last week’s tour of Magic Kingdom. I had so much fun that I decided to sneak away from work for a morning in Epcot. It was such a gorgeous fall-ish day, how could anyone stay inside? My husband was kind enough to take our daughter to school, and so I got to get a bright-and-early pre-rope-drop arrival at Epcot.

It has been so long since I’ve rope dropped Epcot that I wasn’t sure where we’d be held and for how long. They ended up holding us just before Spaceship Earth until 8:45, and then crowds split three ways–Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’. Guess which one I went for…

 

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview — Week of October 21

by on October 19, 2017
Filed under: Universal Orlando Resort, Weekly Preview

The Universal Orlando Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney and Universal travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.

We are back with another weekly preview, and it looks like it’s going to be a beautiful week!!

Weekly Crowd Level

Detailed crowd level information can be found here.

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Walt Disney World Preview — Week of October 21

by on October 19, 2017
Filed under: Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL), Weekly Preview

Halloween arrives early at Disney Springs! Keep reading for more Walt Disney World details!

Special Events

  • Disney Springs is celebrating Halloween early! Enjoy PhotoPass opportunities, face painting, DJ dance parties (near Once Upon a Toy), and stilt walkers!
  • Reservations can now be made for Ferrytale Fireworks: A Sparkling Dessert Cruise. Enjoy desserts and specialty beverages while experiencing Magic Kingdom fireworks…all from Seven Seas Lagoon! This cruise begins December 1st, so book now.
  • Dining discounts have been extended for Annual Passholders. Through December 23rd, Passholders will continue to receive a 20% discount at 45 select Walt Disney World restaurants. For a list of participating restaurants, check out Rikki’s article.

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New Star Tours Adventures to Debut This Fall

by on October 18, 2017
Filed under: Disneyland (CA), Recent News, Star Wars, Walt Disney World (FL)

Star Tours

©Rikki Niblett

Attention Star Wars fans! You’re going to want to head to the theme parks soon because a brand new scene is being added to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.

Almost a year ago, Disney announced that a new mission would be added that would deal with something that occurs in Episode VIII, and Disney confirmed that we would be traveling to somewhere we’ve seen already in the trailers – Crait. During the scene, Guests will be put into an epic battle.

The exciting new sequence will debut at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney World Resort on November 17.

New Shops at Disney Springs

by on October 18, 2017
Filed under: Disney Springs, Recent News, Walt Disney World (FL)

Disney Springs

©Rikki Niblett

Disney Springs is the mecca of shopping at Walt Disney World, and now there are four new shops for Guests to experience on their next trips to the entertainment district. Here are the new shops where you can spend even more money:

  • Bowes Signature Soy Candles: This new shop is located inside on of my favorite shops, the Marketplace Co-Op. Bowes Signature Soy Candles specializes in candles with cotton, eco-friendly wicks and 100% natural soy wax. Each one is highly-scented, hand-poured and labeled locally here in Orlando. There are over 100 varieties oh or you can customize a candle by creating your own scent.
  • Swings N’ Things: Offering the world’s finest hammocks and porch swings. Swings N’ Things is a kiosk located near Cookes of Dublin. Most items range from $40-$400 dollars.
  • Savannah Bee: This shop is now found in a newly-expanded space near The Ganachery. Savannah Bee brings you the most rare, unique and delicious honeys alongside natural, hive-inspired health and beauty products.
  • rinse bath & body co.: The soon-to-open rinse bath & body co. kiosk will be located near Paddlefish. It will showcase natural products handmade in Monroe, Georgia. The shop will include items like natural deodorant, essential oil roll-ons, shower bombs, and their Peppofoot collection, perfect for tired toes.

Which new shop at Disney Springs are you looking forward to stop in on your next visit?

Ask It: A Stitch-y Question, What’s Best for Stitch in Tomorrowland?

by on October 18, 2017
Filed under: Just For Fun, Walt Disney World (FL) 14 Comments

Last week, I spent the morning wandering around Magic Kingdom, and I noticed that not only was the location for Stitch’s Great Escape open as a meet and greet, but a somewhat permanent looking sign had been placed there, suggesting this was more than temporary. With Stitch’s Great Escape having already been given the death nod of “Seasonal Attraction”, I’m doubting that this attraction–which was not a favorite for most people–will be coming back. Still, it had me thinking if a Stitch meet and greet was all that much better for most guests. This week, we’re asking you about those two recent residents of that space:

Which do you think is a better use of the Stitch attraction space in Tomorrowland?

View Results

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Voting is live here and on Twitter, and we’ll have your results next week.

Ask It Results: Do You Dress Up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

by on October 18, 2017
Filed under: Halloween, Just For Fun

There’s a rumor that fall temperatures will be starting to sneak into the Central Florida area very soon. And, as a result, retailers have started bringing out all their Christmas decorations. But fear not, because we still have time left before Halloween gets here! And best of all, it will actually feel more comfortable for those who are spending the evening at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. With Halloween on the mind, last week we asked you:

Do You Dress Up for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party?

Here’s your results.

Yes (485 votes, 57%)

Not too many people go to Disney (or go more than once to Disney) unless they have some child-like joy inside of them. And what child doesn’t like a chance to play dress up? Halloween gives that great excuse to get back to that favorite childhood pastime. For one night, everyone is a kid–wearing costumes, going trick-or-treating. It’s the whole package that makes the night extra magical. And costumes don’t have to be all over the top. Many people said that “normal” plain-colored shirts, shorts, and pants along with special hats, headbands, or mouse ears allow for a costume experience without much hassle. Some of the most memorable costumes I’ve seen at Disney Halloween parties (both east and west coast) excel in creativity matched with simplicity and practicality. There aren’t too many other times when you get a chance to dress up, so why not make the most of it for this one night? Speaking of, make sure you read to the end to see some of TouringPlans writers in their costumes…

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This Month in Disney Parks History: October

by on October 17, 2017
Filed under: Walt Disney World (FL)

Earlier this month, Epcot celebrated its 35th anniversary with commemorative freebies, exclusive merchandise, and a special version of the nighttime spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. And earlier this year, Disney announced a barrage of projects slated for completion by the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World in 2021. If all the buzz had you thinking back to how the parks changed over the years, you’re not alone. We’re testing out a new monthly series where we step back in time to take a look at the history of the Disney Parks beginning with all things October.

1971: Walt Disney World Resort officially opened. At that time, it included Magic Kingdom Park and three resorts – the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Fifteen of the opening day attractions are still around today. You can see them listed here. Read the rest of this entry »

BaseLine Tap House: A Top Stop for a Quick Sip

by on October 17, 2017
Filed under: Dining, Drinking, Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World (FL) 1 Comment

 

Recently opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, BaseLine Tap House serves up brews and snacks for guests of the park’s newly created Grand Avenue. Located in the former Writer’s Stop spot, BaseLine is primarily a craft beer bar specializing in beers native to California, themed as a former print studio in a modern warehouse setting. I dropped in on opening day to sample a few of the menu options and see if it’s worthy of a stop on your next trip.

AtmosphereBaseline Tap House at Disney's Hollywood Studios

It was raining on opening day, sadly, so much of the charm of the front entrance’s large porch and seating area was dimmed, but the ample amount of umbrella-topped tables makes for a great escape from the Florida sun if you need to sit for a spell and relax. The inside of the Tap House does not feature much in the way of seating – chairs line the exterior wall, and a few tables on one end offer seating, but otherwise, the bar is standing-room only. This made the atmosphere feel a bit like my local hole-in-the-wall bar, purposeful, and not inconvenient, though this does encourage quicker visits for each guest – lack of seating means less incentive to linger (though you should stay long enough to listen to some of the killer music they play – the loop is nearly 5 hours long!).

I was greeted pretty quickly by one of several very busy bartenders at the main bar, who took my order and asked if I was partaking inside or needing to-go service. Proper glassware is provided for those staying indoors; for those hanging outside or leaving, standard plasticware is offered.  Any food or drinks you order are picked up from the bar (by you) and then you are free to wander inside or out to wherever you can find comfortable space. Read the rest of this entry »