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SATURDAY SIX: Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try

by on December 3, 2016

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Disneyland Snacks You Gotta Try! Longtime readers of the SATURDAY SIX know that we have a big case of the munchies going on 24/7. In fact, because of the articles on The 10 Gallon Challenge at Whispering Canyon and the E-Ticket milkshakes at Universal’s Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, this fine blog series is now the third leading cause of adult onset diabetes in America (and look out soda, we’re coming for you!) This week however we are gonna head across the country over to Guy Selga’s neck of the woods and check out the tasty treats at the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland. Despite having only two parks compared to our four here in Florida, the Disneyland resort is chock full of incredibly unique and delicious items that you can only get out in California. This week we are going to look at six of our absolute favorite snacks, so sit back, loosen your belt a couple notches, and let’s begin our list with…

# 6 Matterhorn Macaroon

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The Matterhorn Macaroon in front of the fabled Matterhorn itself. (photo by Brandon Glover)

If you go to Disneyland and don’t stop by the Jolly Holiday Bakery to get a Matterhorn Macaroon, you’re doing it wrong. A coconut macaroon shaped like the iconic Disney mountain, topped with white chocolate, and sprinkled with powdered sugar on top for an awesome snow-like appearance, the Matterhorn Macaroon is ultimate in synergy between theme park attractions and snacks. Oh, and it just so happens to taste GREAT.

# 5 – Mickey Beignets

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Mickey Beignet. (photo by Megan Stump)

Eventually we’ll be doing a blog on our favorite Mickey shaped food items, but one of our favorites is the sugary concoction found at the Mint Julep Bar or Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square (the latter of which serves them with dipping sauces.) We often find ourselves stopping by Port Orleans French Quarter just to grab some beignets here in Florida, so seeing them in the classic Mickey shape in Anaheim brings two of our favorite things together in one. Now that’s synergy we can get behind. Even better, Disneyland also offers flavored beignets such as pumpkin spice during Halloween and peppermint for the Christmas season.

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Disney Springs Introduces New Disney PhotoPass Studio

by on December 2, 2016

Disney PhotoPass Studio

©Disney

Do you love to purchase Disney PhotoPass to capture all of your family’s vacation memories? Well, if you do, you’ll now able able to make a stop at the brand new Disney PhotoPass Studio which has just opened in the Marketplace at Disney Springs!

This location is the perfect place to get your family’s portrait done, as Guests can choose from getting their photographs taken against a standard background or you can even choose to have a virtual background added to your photo that places your family inside some of your favorite Disney scenes.

The Disney PhotoPass Studio also features new viewing stations so that you can preview, purchase, and print your vacation memories that have been linked to your My Disney Experience Account.

Photos taken at the Disney PhotoPass Studio will be linked to your My Disney Experience account and are included as a part of Memory Maker.

Guests need not make reservations for the Disney PhotoPass Studio, so show up and make some memories with your family!

Express Transportation Being Added to the Walt Disney World Resort

by on December 2, 2016 6 Comments

Express Transportation at Walt Disney World

©Rikki Niblett

Beginning December 7, the Walt Disney World Resort is introducing Express Transportation, a brand new transportation option that provides Guests a faster and convenient way to travel between the four Walt Disney World theme parks, for a price.

This Express Transportation is a special add on that can purchased by Guests who have purchased park hopper tickets. For single-day service, Express Transportation can be added for $15 per person. For multi-day service, it is $24 per person which is valid for seven consecutive days from the day of sale. (Annual Passholders can also chose to add on the single-day option.)

This option will take Guests from inside one them park and transport them straight into another by allowing Guests to travel between backstage locations.

Pick up locations in each park will be found near the exit of Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, east of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, near Rock n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and near Kilimanjaro Safaris entrance at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Express Transportation is available from 10:00 a.m. until park close. Pick up will occur every 30 minutes.

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In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of December 2, 2016

by on December 2, 2016

ICYMIIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Every where I go. Is it beginning to look and feel like Christmas to you?

This week, we have stories about one of our favorite fellow Disney fanatics, Neil Patrick Harris, Nintendo news for Universal, and so much more! Join me in the fun!

In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors

 

The Dolphin resort will be seeing a large refurbishment of its lobby. Work will begin in the spring of 2017.

Neil Patrick Harris is one of us…we all know this. And this week, we get to see why once again. <3  Read the rest of this entry »

Upcoming WDW Subscription Price Increase

by on December 2, 2016 12 Comments

TouringPlans logoA quick heads-up: on December 8, 2016, the price of a TouringPlans.com subscription to our Walt Disney World tools will be $14.95 per year. If you’re planning to renew for 2017, doing that in the next week will save you a couple of bucks.

Our last price increase was 3 years ago – in December 2013.

Since then we’ve created new hotel and dining tools to make your trip planning easier, created our trip planning dashboard; and improved our crowd calendar. For our Disney World touring plans, we’ve added features such as ride at night options for attractions like Kilimanjaro Safaris; the ability to pick your preferred performance time for shows; automatic detection and re-routing around closed attractions; custom ride durations for attractions such as World Showcase pavilions and tours; and more.

We know you have questions, so we will both ask and answer them now.

Is the price for renewals increasing too?

Yes. If you are a current subscription holder, the price to renew for an additional year will increase $1 to $10.95 on December 8.

Are there any discounts available?

Yes there are. If you are a subscriber to the fabulous newsletters put out by either AllEars.net or Mousesavers, they both frequently have discounts for TouringPlans. There is also a subscription discount found in the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World.

In addition, using the fantastic travel agent services at Small World Vacations, AAA Carolinas, or AAA Mid-Atlantic to book your Disney World trip may also entitle you to free (yes, free) TouringPlans subscriptions.

If I subscribe or renew my existing subscription before December 8, what happens?

You’ll get a full year–or an additional year for renewals–of the best Disney World tools available for the current price.

Why are you telling us this ahead of time?

It seems like the kind of thing we’d like to see happen everywhere – tell your best customers in advance about things that may affect them.

 Okay, I’m in. What am I getting for $14.95

When you are TouringPlans.com subscriber you get access to our Crowd Calendar, which helps you decide the best times to visit. You also get all of our premium Touring Plans as well as access to the fabulous optimizer which allows full customization of any plan. We also have a mobile app–Lines–which gives you instant access to any of our feature on the go.

We also have all of the features listed above like our room view tool and reservation finder. Basically, you will have all the information and assistance you could possibly want to make your Disney World vacation the best it can be.

Holiday Characters at Disneyland

by on December 1, 2016

Disneyland Holiday Character - MickeyRecently I wrote about the holiday characters found at Walt Disney World. Now it’s time to look at the holiday characters at the Disneyland Resort. While some holiday characters at Walt Disney World require extra cost for a hard ticket party, all of Disneyland’s holiday characters are available with regular park admission.

Disneyland

Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale all meet in their holiday sweater outfits in Town Square. Sometimes you may find them at the entrance to the park, but they mostly are all around the Town Square area. If you are looking for a specific character, I recommend asking a character attendant what time they will be out. In my experience, the Disneyland app character times have been completely wrong for the Town Square area, especially during my November trip.

Santa meets in Critter Country, where the Winnie the Pooh characters usually meet during the rest of the year.

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Julia’s Best Week Ever, December 1, 2016: Thanksgiving Time Out

by on December 1, 2016 3 Comments

2016-11-24-10-37-09Most years, Orange County Public Schools gives kids the entire week off for Thanksgiving so that everyone can travel. This year, because they want school to end in May (!?), they decided to hold school on Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. No travel for us, and no one coming in town, so we got some fantastic family time. How much can we cram into one holiday weekend? Come along and find out!

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Walt Disney World December 2016 Preview

by on November 30, 2016 1 Comment

Walt Disney World December 2016

Walt Disney World December 2016

Welcome to TouringPlans’ Walt Disney World December 2016 preview – we hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Who’s with us and ready for December? The holidays, which started as soon as the Halloween decorations came down are in full swing. We’ve got food booths at Epcot, Christmas parties, and TENTS.

Ready for more? Read on.

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The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! November 2016 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on November 30, 2016 13 Comments

MMM positiveWelcome to the latest edition of The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! the longest running monthly look at the Disney Outlet Stores in Orlando.

November has come to an end and so kicks off Your Humble Author’s favorite time of the year. In fact we started early as just last week we had TWO editions of the SATURDAY SIX, a special Thanksgiving edition going over What Theme Park Fans Have To Be Thankful For in 2016, and the fan favorite 3rd Annual Theme Park Turkeys Of The Year.

While it seemed to fly by, we actually had a bunch of interesting things happen last month. For those wondering just how many dessert parties Disney could make in one year, the correct answer was “infinity” and we just got our latest with the debut of Tiana’s Riverboat Party. Unlike traditional dessert parties offering “preferred viewing” of parades and fireworks, the view of the Festival of Fantasy parade from onboard the Liberty Belle reminded me of Bob Uecker’s “front row” seat.

What started as a next level bananas rumor from the Grand Poohbah of TouringPlans, Len Testa, came to fruition just days later with the Kingdom Cabanas in Tomorrowland. This is one of those things you can’t tell your non-theme park friends or coworkers because upon hearing the details they may try to get you committed to a mental institution.

Great news for those of us who felt EPCOT’s International Food & Wine Festival was just too short, as next year’s edition will run for a new record of 75 days. But wait, there’s even more festival dates coming as 2017 brings us the brand new EPCOT International Festival of the Arts! That’s right, from January 13th through February 20th guests will see Disney attempt to “combine visual, culinary and performing arts from around the world.” Whatever that means. I wish someone would take my idea of a festival built around the foods you can get a state fairs. I’m talking the most unhealthy foods in the entire world: fried candy bars, beer battered pretzel coated cheese curds, and bacon wrapped bacon.

Now, while all of you were trying to open up a lemonade stand in the EPCOT parking lot, Outlet Intern Julia Mascardo and I were hard at work to bring you the quality Outlet coverage you expect deserve!

Enough jibber jabber! Who is ready to hit the Outlets? Remember that clicking on any picture will open a full size version of it (don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

First up is, as always, my unhealthy addiction to Tsum Tsums. Tsums were STILL just $0.99 (for the third month in a row) and now they were BUY 2 GET 1! Unfortunately I had pretty much all the ones they were offering, but there were a couple new ones to the Outlet.

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Buy 2 Get 1 Tsums!

Both came from the Star Wars line of Tsum Tsums, including this Han Solo.

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Han shot first.

And here is Jabba Desilijic Tiure, more commonly known as Jabba the Hutt.

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Jabba the Hutt Tsum.

The next item was a shocker for me. This Hippabore toy was the absolute FIRST item of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise to make an appearance at Walt Disney World last year. Who knows why anyone in the world would buy one, even the die-hard Force Awakens fans, but here we are almost a year and a half later and they are just now hitting the Outlets. Originally $27.99, now $14.99.

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This was the creature Finn drank water next to in the trough.

Next up was one I did get, the Tie-Fighter Popcorn Bucket. The wings of this thing fall off if you just look at it hard enough, and it holds approximately 32 pieces of popcorn, but like I’m not not going to buy this. Reduced to $7.99.

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Popcorn bucket.

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PizzeRizzo: Classic Disney Pizza Under New Management

by on November 30, 2016 1 Comment

Neon and classic pizzeria signs welcome you to PizzeRizzo.I have a secret. It’s kind of shameful in the eyes of many Disney fans. It’s definitely shameful in the eyes of those who enjoy good food.

Are you ready?

I was really sad when Pizza Planet closed earlier this year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, because I actually liked the pizza there.

I’m sure many are now completely questioning any dining reviews I’ve ever written, but it’s true! It’s not the best pizza at Walt Disney World (which I’ll rank in an upcoming post), but it served its purpose – fast, relatively cheap, and meets the cheese-sauce-bread ratio that qualifies it as “pizza”. I wondered, therefore, whether changes made in the transformation of the Toy Story-themed Pizza Planet to the newly opened Muppets-themed PizzeRizzo would also affect the pizza.

In short: no, it’s still the same pizza (and side salads, and meatball subs). For many of you, that’s probably enough of a review to know what you’re getting into (same food, new themed area surrounding The new ordering area at PizzeRizzo is much bigger than before.your dining table). I will say, though, that a few things about PizzeRizzo pleasantly surprised me, which I’ll share below. Read the rest of this entry »