Your subscriptions support new blog articles and research. Please consider

subscribing.

today.


Downtown Disney Parking Garage Opens at Walt Disney World

by on November 21, 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

That sound you hear is the cheering of thousands of guests (ok, maybe I’m the only one and I’m cheering really loudly) – part of the first Downtown Disney parking garage is open! This means that for the busy holiday season, Downtown Disney parking hopefully won’t be the catastrophic nightmare it has been.

The new garage is located on the West Side portion of Downtown Disney. Currently there is a pathway that you can take to and from the garage to the shopping district located near the Downtown Disney AMC.

photo 4

Read the rest of this entry »

Things to Do at Disney World outside the Parks

by on November 21, 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

It can be easy sometimes to forget just how much there is to do outside of Disney World’s four theme parks and two water parks. With so much contained within the parks, it might not even cross some guests’ minds that you could actually spend a whole Disney World vacation without ever going to the parks. Although I personally wouldn’t suggest skipping the parks entirely, you could do it and still have a great vacation. Maybe it’s the last day of your vacation or maybe you just want to explore the property a little to see what else Disney has to offer. With that in mind, here are just a few of the many things to see and do without ever having to pay for a park admission ticket.

Disney World Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf

Golf

Disney World wouldn’t be much of a resort destination without golf. With three courses (four if you include the onsite Four Seasons course) and one nine-hole walking course, there’s a wide variety of play options for fans of the sport. Even if you think you’re terrible at golf or you’ve never tried before, this is a good place to start. Resort courses are notoriously less punishing than most courses (people don’t need a stroke on vacation) and even if you do play horribly, at least you’re still in Disney so you can’t be that upset. If the full-fledged sport still seems like too much of an undertaking, Disney also offers two thematically different mini golf courses. Fantasia Gardens (located near the Boardwalk) is themed after its namesake film and even features a more traditional putting green course for those who want to just work on their short game. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is located at Blizzard Beach and has two courses themed after winter and summer. For those concerned about having to purchase a water park ticket to play here, no need to worry. The mini golf course may be located at Blizzard Beach but it’s actually outside of the Blizzard Beach entrance. Read the rest of this entry »

Daisy Lauren’s Best Week Ever: November 20, 2014

by on November 20, 2014 5 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Hi, Everyone! Welcome to the Best Week Ever here at Walt Disney World! This week we’re taking a look at resort decorations at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, then heading to the Magic Kingdom to check out the Jingle Cruise, and wrapping up with meeting Baymax at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We might even sneak in a little mini golf! :) So let’s get started! Anyone that’s read before knows that I normally try to start with a smaller photo, but this one was too good to shrink. This is the new Frozen gingerbread display for this year at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It replaces a gingerbread tree with a more colorful Small World theme from years past. Want to hear more about it? Click “read more” just below the photo. 1 Read the rest of this entry »

You Could Be a Part of the “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration”

by on November 20, 2014 1 Comment

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

The holidays are such a magical time of the year, with loved ones getting together to celebrate. However, for some, unforeseen circumstances keep families and friends away from each other.

This year, during the annual Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade (which will be called “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration”), distance and circumstances won’t matter! You see, a few deserving families who want the opportunity to reunite with their loved ones will have their wishes granted!

A nationwide casting call is searching to bring families and friends together for this year’s parade special, who, for whatever reason, are separated from the important people in their lives. It could be because finances have made travel difficult; or a spouse is in the Military and they are stationed far away; or some of your family or friends may not live in the same part of the country as you. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance is, all kinds of stories are welcome!

Participants who are selected to take part in this special surprise will be reunited at either one of the theme parks or even potentially on a Disney Cruise, all expenses paid, and they will be filmed enjoying their time together. The entire story will end up on the “Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration” which is set to air on Christmas Day, December 25.

Frozen_Flyer_2

So if you’ll be separated for someone you love this Holiday Season, submit your family for a chance to be reunited. Or, if you know of a family who would be deserving of this special opportunity, make sure to nominate them!

But wait…how do I submit an entry? All you’ll need to do is send an email to frozen@gmvsound.com with who you would like to be reunited with, a contact number, a photo, and the ages and locations of the participants.

Keep in mind that time is of the essence! If you would like the chance to possibly participate, you must get your entries in before Thanksgiving!

Details at the Four Seasons Orlando

by on November 20, 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

When I first visited the Four Seasons Orlando back in August, the first thing I noticed was how grand it was to drive back into the property (past the mansions under construction for Golden Oak). But when I walked into the lobby, the hotel struck me with an interesting blend of grandiose and intimate at the same time.

Unlike, say, a Disney Value Resort that will practically smack you upside the head with theming, there wasn’t a lot at the resort that screamed “Look at me!!” But after wandering around the beautifully tiled floors on the way to breakfast, I knew I wanted to spend some more time just looking around. When I slowed down to really take a good look, all sorts of details appeared. Here’s a few of my favorites.

Chandelier

The simply stunning fireworks chandelier is the first thing you will see as you enter the Four Seasons Orlando. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

The simply stunning fireworks chandelier is the first thing you will see as you enter the Four Seasons Orlando. (Photo by Julia Mascardo)

 

The very first thing that caught my eye the minute that I walked in to the lobby was the amazing chandelier. This beautiful work of art was designed in the Czech Republic by Jozef Baca and Veronika Kopecna and can best be described as a chandelier that captures the magnificence of a fireworks grand finale exploding in the night sky. It is made of more than 30,000 crystal pieces illuminated by 250 sleeves of LED lights. It really puts the grand in grand entry.

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

New Color Companion to Walt Disney World Available!

by on November 20, 2014 3 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

2015ColorCompanionOur new edition of The Unofficial Guide Color Companion to Walt Disney World is out. This guidebook has more than 500 full-color photos of Disney’s rides, restaurants, and resorts. This edition’s updates feature all of the new Fantasyland attractions, such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, and new restaurants like Be Our Guest.

Some of my favorite new parts of the Color Companion are the theme park infographics. These two-page color spreads are like cheat sheets for visiting the parks. Tip #1 includes the park’s typical Extra Magic Hours schedule, plus the pros and cons of Morning and Evening Extra Magic Hours. Tip #2 shows which attractions benefit most from FastPass+ in each park. Tip #3 explains why it’s important to arrive early.

Tip #4 shows which attractions get crowded fastest, and which attractions to visit during the busy, middle part of the day. And Tip #5 shows you which attractions are likely to still have FastPass+ reservations on the day you’re visiting the park. This is the first time we’ve presented this information in print, and it’s super useful when trying to figure out where to use your 3 advance FastPass+ reservations. Big thanks to graphic artist Cassandra Poertner for coming up with these (that’s Cassandra and her daughter in the flying boat). Read the rest of this entry »

Disneyland Resort Crowd Report – November 9 to 15, 2014

by on November 19, 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Days around Veterans Day historically see no significant bump in attendance at Disneyland Resort. This year seems to be a significant exception. Sunday through Tuesday saw crowd levels that bordered on extreme despite our historical information which would suggest crowds much lower in mid-November. As much as crowds peaked on Tuesday they returned immediately back to levels we would expect by Wednesday.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Resort Crowd Report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report – November 9 to 15, 2014

by on November 19, 2014 2 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Our predictions last week told us that Universal crowds would be about average the first half of the week then very low for the second half. We were half right. Crowds were low all week. In fact, last week constitutes some of the lowest crowds we’ve seen over a seven day period at Universal Orlando Resort.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the TouringPlans.com Universal Orlando Resort Crowd Report:

Read the rest of this entry »

Disney World Crowd Report – November 9 to 15, 2014

by on November 19, 2014 7 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Our resort level predictions for the days around Veterans Day hit the mark but last week was marred by the largest surprise crowd at Magic Kingdom that we have ever seen. About 4% of the time we expect our crowd calendar park level predictions to miss by more than two index levels, about 1% miss by three or more. Never has our Magic Kingdom prediction missed by five levels as it did on Saturday. Last year’s crowd on the same day was a level ’3′ at the Magic Kingdom. We are still not entirely sure what caused the influx of guests to Magic Kingdom on Saturday but judging by the crowd levels since then, it appears to be an isolated occurrence.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans Disney World Crowd Report:

Read the rest of this entry »

5 Essential Tips for Dealing with the Rain at Disneyland

by on November 19, 2014 2 Comments

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print
Rainy  Disneyland 1

Rainfall at Disneyland. Copyright- Disney

 

Southern California is a vacation paradise. Your average temperature–year round– is mid to high 70s and clear skies. It is the perfect location for a Disneyland Resort vacation. Unfortunately the only real obstacle you cannot prepare for–when you go on vacation–is the weather. You can gauge what the weather will be like in any particular month but you will not truly know until the week before we leave for your vacation.

Even though it hardly rains in Southern California there are still rainy seasons. The rainy season starts in October and ends in April. But I know most of you are not going to completely avoid those rainy season months just because of some rain. So, what is your plan of attack when you are on your vacation and it is raining at the Disneyland Resort? Below I have put together 5 essential tips for dealing with the rain when you are at the Disneyland Resort.If you are interested in tips on how to deal with the rain at Disney World, our other writer Daisy has an excellent article on that particular topic. Read the rest of this entry »