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Disney Vacation Club Members Can Experience Moonlight Magic

by on January 18, 2017

Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic

©Disney

Last year, Disney Vacation Club members were able to participate in special events that were held periodically throughout the year to celebrate their membership. These complimentary, after hours events took place at each of the four different theme parks and this year are back with a twist! The evenings are now called Moonlight Magic and this year, they will not only take place at Walt Disney World, but also at Disneyland!

During Moonlight Magic, Guests will be able to experience shorter-than-usual wait times at some of the parks’ most popular attractions, special entertainment and character appearances, complimentary treats and more.

This year’s events will take place on the following dates and locations: Read the rest of this entry »

Disney Romance at Old Key West

by on January 18, 2017

With Valentine’s Day a month out, we’re looking at some places at Walt Disney World that offer the chance for couples to get away from the usual park experience and enjoy some romance – Disney style. Disney’s Old Key West Resort is a surprisingly great resort pick if you are looking for some Disney romance with your significant other. At least it was a surprise to my husband and me when we made a recent adults-only getaway and stayed there for the first time.

As Disney Vacation Club members, we often plan our trips months in advance, but this trip was planned within a much shorter time frame. Old Key West is one of the DVC resorts that is more likely to have availability when planning just a couple months out.We were thrilled to find a room there for our dates. While we were excited for our first stay at this resort, what we didn’t expect was how much a part Old Key West would play in the overall romantic mood of the trip.

© Sarah Graffam

Covered walkway leading to the riverfront

So here’s a rundown of reasons why you should consider Old Key West Resort when planning your next couples trip to Disney World.

Disney Romance Factor 1: Setting

Old Key West’s layout is very spread out, with a central Hospitality House and two- to three-story buildings in pastel colors throughout several “neighborhoods.” This layout, especially for the buildings that are a bit tucked away, is extremely conducive to the feeling of privacy that enhances romance. The abundant foliage, palm trees, water features, and golf course fairways create an atmosphere of relaxation and seclusion away from the busy parks.

The slow pace extends to the Hospitality House where you can wander with your sweetie under a wide covered walkway that opens onto the riverfront and dock area. Upon arrival at the resort, take a stroll together through the walkway out to the river. This transition creates a similar reveal, and a feeling of “you are here,” as when walking under the railroad station into Magic Kingdom’s Town Square—but without the crowds. This first impression of the resort was one of the earliest indications that our time at Old Key West would be even more relaxing and romantic than we expected.

© Sarah Graffam

Read the rest of this entry »

Updated Information About New Typhoon Lagoon Attraction

by on January 17, 2017 8 Comments

Well, it appears, according to Disney, as though there is a bit of a change when it comes to the new Typhoon Lagoon family raft ride. The attraction, which was once called Miss Fortune Falls, is now apparently going to be called Miss Adventure Falls.

And let me tell you, Miss Adventure Falls looks incredible, at least according to this concept art!

Typhoon Lagoon Miss Adventure Falls

©Disney

 

Miss Adventure Falls will still feature the story of sea-faring treasure hunter, Captain Mary Oceaneer. She traveled across the sea collecting unique artifacts before she became stranded by the rogue storm.

During the attraction, which is the longest attraction at a Disney Water Park, Guests will board a 4-person treasure raft and travel up a conveyor belt that then takes you straight into the action. Along the way, Guests will be able to spot artifacts that had been collected, as well as meeting Mary’s old diving partner, an Audio-Animatronics parrot, who just so happens to still be hunting for treasures at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon.

Miss Adventure Falls will be located near Crush n’ Gusher and will clock in at approximately two minutes. It looks like it will be a great adventure, indeed!

New Breakfast Options Available at Magic Kingdom

by on January 17, 2017 10 Comments

Recently, the Magic Kingdom rolled out a brand new Welcome Show that takes place on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage. Because of this, Guests are now able to enter the Magic Kingdom and stroll through Main Street U.S.A., savoring the atmosphere, taking photos, and grabbing a quick breakfast. While most immediately head to the Main Street Bakery for their Starbucks coffee, Disney has introduced a few new locations that will be serving up some unique breakfast options.

Magic Kingdom Casey's Corner

©Disney

 

Casey’s Corner will be serving up muffins, bagels, and a croissant doughnut. But if you’re looking for something a little more interesting, they will also be offering corn dog nuggets and the hash brown dog. The hash brown dog features hash browns, bacon, Cheddar, onion straws and chipotle-ranch. One thing to note is that according to the Disney Parks Blog, breakfast options at Casey’s Corner will stop being served at 11:00 a.m.

Read the rest of this entry »

Back to the Basics: Advance Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World + Video

by on January 17, 2017

I may have a cold, but that does NOT deter me from telling you all about Advance Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World!

To check out this TouringPlansTV video, click here.

For other Back to the Basics episodes, check out our YouTube page.

Disney World Valentine’s Day Romance: Mix and Match Your Plan

by on January 17, 2017

Valentine's Day Romance at Walt Disney World

While Disney World is known for being a magical place for families, its fantastic variety of dining, attractions, entertainment, and recreation options also make it a great place for couples to find some romance. With the approach of Valentine’s Day, you may be thinking about how to spend an ideal day of romance, Disney World-style. This article offers a framework for a plan and plenty of ideas to inspire your own Disney World Valentine’s Day.

Disney World Romance Step #1: Breakfast

What better way to start off Valentine’s Day than with a leisurely breakfast. Although taking a park by storm at rope drop is a key strategy in time-efficient touring, Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to take a slower approach. Here are some great resort and in-park options. Keep in mind that the location of your choice can be a stepping stone to the next part of your plan. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Top-Rated Magic Kingdom Restaurants

by on January 16, 2017 21 Comments

Top Rated Magic Kingdom Restaurants

After every trip to Walt Disney World, we send our TouringPlans members a survey to see how satisfied they were with each part of their vacation.

The Dole Whip in both its glorious forms

In 2016, we got back more than 122,000 responses on Walt Disney World restaurants, up from 97,000 responses in 2015. To put that in perspective, we have more surveys about Disney World restaurants than Yelp and TripAdvisor combined.

In this blog post we’ll cover your ratings for the Magic Kingdom’s restaurants, from best to worst. Let’s start with the Magic Kingdom’s quick-service restaurants, using our straightforward “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating system. Restaurants in green are rated better than average; those in pink are worse than average; and the ones in red are much worse than average. Read the rest of this entry »

Best Food Bets at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts

by on January 16, 2017 9 Comments

Best Bets for Food at the Epcot Festival of the Arts

This is an article on the Epcot Festival of the Arts first weekend from guest author Todd Santanello:

I am an erstwhile chef and current Disney food aficionado. I hope that my back of the house knowledge comes through in my reviews, and helps you better plan your Disney dining experience. You can also find me on Instagram and Twitter @cheftodd55, or join my Facebook group Chef Todd Eats Disney.

Opening weekend at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts was full of hits and misses from the new food studios. Most of the misses were not so much in the quality or flavor of the food, but in the overall delivery of the product. Service was very awkward and clumsy at most of the kitchens. While the concept of “food as art” is wildly appealing, the actual delivery Read the rest of this entry »

SATURDAY SIX: Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2016 (No Matter How Hard We Try)

by on January 14, 2017 7 Comments

This week’s  SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We’ll Never Forget 2016 (No Matter How Hard We Try). With the new year upon us, it is time for another SATURDAY SIX annual tradition of looking back at some of the most “memorable moments” of the previous year. Now we already covered some of the great things that happened during the past 365 days, and some of the worst as well, so today let’s look at six theme park stories that fall into a different area. Events that are almost hard to believe actually happened, but we promise they did, and we’re here with the proof. So let’s kick it off with…

# 6 – Disney Puts a Paper Bag Over the Tower of Terror

Disney has some truly incredible projects opening over the next couple years including Pandora: The World of Avatar in Florida and a huge Star Wars Land on both coasts. These projects look to give guests the same level of immersion – if not more – than the critically acclaimed Cars Land and Diagon Alley. For their first ever Marvel attraction in America, Disney went in a different direction. In a shocking announcement at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, it was revealed that the Hollywood Tower of Terror in DCA would be converted over to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! While Pandora will have guests dropping their jaws while looking up at the “flying mountains” and Star Wars Land will fulfill many a fanboy dream of walking onto the Millenium Falcon, the Marvel attraction is going to look just like the iconic Hollywood Tower of Terror with a bunch of pipes on it.

The Tower of Terror prepares to undergo its transformation into the Collector’s Fortress. (photo by Guy Selga)

Here’s the thing: say what you will about California’s Tower of Terror versus Florida’s version (it stinks), the ride still has the memorable Tower of Terror hotel facade. This is one of the all time most iconic ride facades in Disney history. In fact, with the Sorcerer’s Hat now gone from DHS, it has become one of the four WDW park icons along with Spaceship Earth, the Tree of Life, and Cinderella Castle. Disney has owned Marvel now for almost a decade, and as they saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. No matter how good the actual Guardians of the Galaxy ride is or isn’t, being shoehorned into one of the most recognizable facades in any theme park is going to make the attraction look and feel out of place.

The most unbelievable part of this entire story is the fact that Disney started converting the Tower of Terror over to Mission: BREAKOUT! while guests were still enjoying the Terror of Terror. Large parts of the Tower were covered, and the attraction started to look like a sports fan wearing a paper bag over their head because they were ashamed of their team.

Paper of Plastic? (photo by Justin Martin)

Despite the Tower of Terror not being in anyone’s top ten ride list in DCA, the reaction to the hotel being changed was not received well on social media (to be fair, not much is anyway). Even crazier, DCA is just coming off a Billion dollar makeover that included making a large part of the park themed to early 20th century California, the exact same theme which Tower of Terror already had. Many have voiced their displeasure, but a few have also had a little fun with the idea of the hotel soon to be under new management….

Adam Britten as a newly displaced Tower bellhop.

Read the rest of this entry »

In Case You Missed It: Disney News and Rumors – Week of January 13, 2017

by on January 13, 2017 1 Comment

In Case You Missed ItWow! So apparently 2017 is already starting off crazy! I’ve been down during Walt Disney World’s Marathon Weekend in the sleet, I took part in the Wine and Dine Half of a Half, and now, I’ve experienced the inaugural Grumpy Challenge of 35.5. While disappointing for those running the cancelled half, it was so inspiring watching those who didn’t have an official race anymore getting out there and going for it anyway.

This week, see when The View will be broadcasting live from Walt Disney World, learn more about Jimmy Fallon’s new attraction, and more.

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

Disney is hoping and thinking that when Pandora: The World of Avatar opens this summer, it will do for Disney’s Animal Kingdom what Cars Land did for Disney California Adventure.

Curious who will be visiting Walt Disney World as part of the Pro Bowl week? Read the rest of this entry »