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Universal Orlando Crowd Report – September 21 to 27, 2014

by on October 2, 2014

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Last week, no park reached wait times higher than a level ’4′ on our scale and most days stayed around a ’2′ or ’3′. That means posted wait times averaged 10 to 30 minutes at most attractions. September is low season at Universal Orlando so even the new Harry Potter attractions weren’t enough to push wait times to average levels for the year. Escape to Gringotts saw average waits in the range of 15 to 20 minutes some days, their lowest level since the attraction opened. Larger crowds are likely on their way however as we progress deeper into the fall season and approach Thanksgiving in November.

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

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Disneyland Resort Crowd Report – September 21 to 27, 2014

by on October 1, 2014 1 Comment

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Last week, crowds at Disneyland Resort hit levels on our scale a point or two higher than the previous few weeks. Predictably, weekend crowds hit higher levels than weekday crowds, a trend that is quite noticeable in the Fall season. Crowds at Disneyland Park stayed higher than Disney California Adventure each day last week.

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

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Disney World Crowd Report – September 21 to 27, 2014

by on October 1, 2014 1 Comment

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A strange week for crowds across Walt Disney World last week, with some parks swinging as much of 5 index points depending on the day. We’re not sure whether the big swings were due to actual increases in crowdedness or anomalies in wait times. Most notable were skewed wait times at Maelstrom and Backlot Tour, and surrounding or related attractions. None-the-less, it is clear that the low crowds of September have passed and Fall crowds have arrived.

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

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Disney Rolls Out New Frozen Holiday Premium Package at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on October 1, 2014 6 Comments

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A "Frozen" Summer at Disney's Hollywood Studios

©Disney

Who else is surprised? A brand new premium package is being rolled out at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the Holiday Season called the Frozen Holiday Premium Package. With the overwhelming success of the Frozen Summer Fun Premium Package, it was a no-brainer that a similar package would be rolled out for the Holiday Season.

This special package includes reserved seating for a performance of the “For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration,” reserved viewing of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, a Frozen-themed dessert party, a holiday-themed lithograph, and a Frozen pin.

The package is available for select dates:

  • November 7 – 19
  • November 21 – December 9
  • December 11 – January 4

The package costs $89 for adults (ages 10 and up) and $59 per child (ages 3-9), plus tax. (Gratuity is also included in the price.) Also Disney’s Hollywood Studios admission is required but is not included in the price of the Premium Package.

To book this package, call (407) 939-1854.

Disney Cruise Line Changes Its Cancellation Policy

by on October 1, 2014

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DCLThe Disney Cruise Line has changed its cancellation policy for sailings booked starting today. The updated policy includes new restrictions on cruises that include major U.S. holidays, plus changes to concierge and suite staterooms. Thank you to Sue Pisaturo of Small World Vacations for the heads up on this news.

MOST CRUISE RESERVATIONS REQUIRE A DEPOSIT equal to 20% of the cruise’s price (not including taxes) for each passenger age 3 and older on that reservation. Some DCL promotions, such as booking a follow-up cruise while you’re already on a current cruise, require only a 10% deposit. Booking a future cruise while you’re on the ship almost always includes an onboard credit for the cruise you’re booking too.

DCL’s full cancellation policy can be found online at the DCL website; click “Terms and Conditions” at the bottom of the home page. You can cancel a reservation in writing or by phone; also, moving the date of your cruise or changing the name of someone on your reservation is considered a cancellation.

If your cruise starts or ends in the United States and your cruise is fewer than 10 days long, your refund amount depends on the kind of stateroom you’ve booked, your cruise dates, and how much advance notice you give Disney. The following table summarizes the criteria used for bookings made on or after October 1, 2014: Read the rest of this entry »

PHOTO REPORT: Atrium Club Level at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

by on October 1, 2014 9 Comments

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Recently I had family staying at Disney’s Contemporary Resort for a week, and I joined them for one night to check out the Atrium Club Level experience. I have stayed Club Level at several of the Universal hotels, including the Royal Pacific Resort and Portofino Bay, and have always enjoyed it, so it was time to see what Disney provides. I’ve priced out options at staying Club Level at the Polynesian and Animal Kingdom Lodge before, but eventually get scared off by the price and ended up booking a room at value resorts like Art of Animation or Pop Century. For this stay I booked a Club Level room with the Special Offer: Passholder Room Offer for Late Summer discount. The total was $616.79 for one night. Was it worth the cost? Let’s check it out….

AtriumClubLevel_ViewFromMainRoom

View from the shared area of the Atrium Club Level.

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Happy 32nd Anniversary, Epcot!

by on October 1, 2014 1 Comment

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The iconic Spaceship Earth.

The iconic Spaceship Earth.

Today marks the 32nd anniversary of the opening of Epcot; or, as it was known at the time, EPCOT Center. The vision of EPCOT was introduced to us by Walt Disney on the Wonderful World of Color television program in 1966 (watch Walt’s video to Florida legislature here), but didn’t become a full-blow project until the mid-70’s. It was to be an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, an actual city with 20,000 residents; however in most respects it changed and morphed into a theme park. The concept of EPCOT went through 19 major design revisions from its beginning until opening day. Throughout all the change it has been claimed to be “…the embodiment of Walt Disney’s last and possibly greatest dream.”

Yes, EPCOT started as a dream. But how did it come to fruition? Manpower and money, and lots of both. The estimate for this project was $600 million, but it ended up costing Disney about $1.4 billion to complete. Not all of these funds came directly out of Disney’s pocket, though. The company solicited pavilion sponsors to foot part of the bill. Each sponsor, such as Kraft and Kodak, reportedly paid anywhere from $10 – $50 million over a ten year period. With this financial backing, each sponsor received use of the Disney name in promotional materials and – depending upon the amount put up - may have received a park lounge named after them (think the Chase Lounge in the American Adventure Pavilion). Read the rest of this entry »

Disney Cruise Line For People Who Hate Cruises

by on October 1, 2014 5 Comments

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Disney Cruise LineA few years ago, before I went on my first Disney Cruise Line sailing, I could never imagine myself as a cruise person. Maybe “hate” is too strong of a word, but for years I had no desire to vacation on a floating germ filled petri dish of doom…uh…I mean…lovely cruise ship. But then as time passed by, I began to get a little curious. My parents are avid cruisers and they would share their photos and stories of great adventures. My boys even started talking about how fun it would be if we went on a cruise…especially a Disney Cruise Line vacation!

Now I’m a huge fan of all things Disney…characters, movies, clothes, theme parks, you name it…could Mickey Mouse and my love of Disney really change my mind about cruising? Read on to find out!

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TouringPlans #Everywhere – Meet Schedules

by on September 30, 2014 1 Comment

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t_logo_fbHave you ever wanted a chance to hang with TouringPlans staff in locations throughout the globe? Sunday, October 12, is your opportunity. This is the day of TouringPlans #Everywhere. We will have our people posted at every Disney location in the world on the same day, blogging and tweeting for your reading pleasure. And we’d love to see you while we’re at it.

Here is where everyone will be available. All times are local. DCL meet ups may change due to what’s happening on the ship that day – watch Twitter for updates.

If possible, please RSVP via email to the person who’ll be there so we’ll have an idea what to expect:

Meet Up Locations

Europe
Disneyland Paris – meet Brad Huber (developer and Saints fan) at 3:00 pm at the Market House Deli on Main Street in Disneyland Park. Email brad@touringplans.com. Read the rest of this entry »

The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! September 2014 Photo Report of the Disney Outlet Store

by on September 30, 2014 20 Comments

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MMM positiveIt’s the end of September and the streets of Orlando are still wet from the constant rain during the month. Or maybe it’s the tears of the fans of Off Kilter, Mo’Rockin, Spirit of America, or the World Showcase Players, all of whom performed their last shows this week. We also saw the closure of the Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the first attraction in recent memory whose demise was met with almost unanimous support from theme park fandom. Oh, and we also had the start of a little something called the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, which has at least two items this year (a Duffy bear wearing a chef’s outfit and a new shirt featuring Figment) that we just may be covering in this article sooner than later.

With that out of the way, who is ready to hit the outlets?! Remember, you can click on any picture to see it in full size (although that’s actually more of a warning than a reminder.)

IMG_9635

A water bottle filled with so many rare characters it should be sold during a hard ticket event.

First up is this aluminum bottle that blew my mind the longer I looked it at.  So many great characters. Mary Poppins. Figment. Lightning McQueen (in scale with the other characters to boot!) Marie from the Aristocats. Russell from Up. Pete’s Dragon. Mushu. Eve. The Rescuers. This cup is amazing. Originally $9.95, it was now reduced to $4.99 and you better believe I bought this.

IMG_9637

Mr. Toad?!!

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