Archive for July, 2012

Quick Glance Showtimes Now in Your Touring Plan

by on July 31, 2012

One of the great things you can do with a personalized touring plan is add scheduled shows to your plan steps. When you optimize, we figure out which showtime is best for your schedule, and put the step in the right spot for you – nice and easy! However, there are times when you need to know what other options are available. When using our new Evaluate feature, for example, it’s helpful to know if there’s a 10pm showing of Fantasmic, or if you need to plan around an earlier show.

We’ve made that process a lot easier – now when you add a show with scheduled showtimes to your personalized plan, all the showtimes for your plan’s date are listed in the step. If Disney hasn’t put out the official showtimes for your plan’s date yet, we’ll give you our predicted showtimes, and update them automatically as more information becomes available.

This feature has also been added to Lines – so now you can easily see alternate showtimes for the shows in your plan, without having to leave the plan page. (A big help if your cell service provider is having trouble keeping up with the park crowds!)

What do you think of this new feature? Let us know in the comments – we love hearing from you!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Affordable Alternatives

by on July 31, 2012

If you’re anything like me, you like to save money where you can. Anytime I travel to Disney World, I’m always thinking about how I can cut costs while still satisfying my wants and needs. Sure, I want to stay at the Polynesian Resort every trip, but can I? No. That being said, it’s a challenge for me personally to accept that I’m not made of money. I’m only 24 and I don’t have a high paying job to afford everything I really desire to do on each trip. Plus, I like to go to Disney World often versus doing one big trip every three years.

There are plenty of opportunities to pinch pennies on a Disney trip. Let’s take a look at some satisfying substitutes that might work for you.

Polynesian Resort lovers are fierce and they know that they’re going to pay top dollar to be transported to the South Pacific. Instead of paying $400 a night, try a cost-cutting alternative. If you want to experience the Polynesian vibe, book a dinner at the popular restaurant, ‘Ohana. Time your reservation right and you go down to the beach and watch Wishes. You’ll be able to spend a solid amount of time at the Polynesian and really soak up what it’s all about. If that idea doesn’t interest you, give Caribbean Beach Resort a shot. The tropical environment is abundant there as well. While the on-site dining isn’t as wonderful and the rooms aren’t as luxurious as at the Polynesian, Caribbean Beach Resort maintains lush grounds and one of the most impressive pools on property.

Another resort that is so insanely costly and also very desired is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The resort is a breathtaking display of Victorian architecture. The elegance simply cannot be matched. However, not everyone can swing the cost to stay there. A comparable option would be Port Orleans Riverside Resort. The classic “mansion” section, Magnolia Bend, has a traditional and elegant feel that is similar to the Grand Floridian. At about half the cost of the Grand Floridian, it’s worth considering Port Orleans Riverside if you’re looking for regal accomodations.

While signature dining on Disney property is desired by many travelers, it’s not always in the budget. A reservation at the Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s is highly reviewed because of the multiple courses and truly personal dining experience. While this meal starts at $200 per guest, there are many other fine dining restaurants on Disney property that would cost you less than half of that price. I personally will recommend heading over to Animal Kingdom Lodge and dining at Jiko. For an engaging experience, ask to be seated at “The Cooking Place” where you can watch chefs prepare the restaurant’s signature flatbreads. The wine list is also absolutely incredible. The higher priced entrees run about $40, which is definitely more budget-friendly than Victoria and Albert’s. A similar “Chef’s Counter” can be found at the Boardwalk Inn’s signature restaurant, Flying Fish Cafe, where dining at the counter means watching the action in the open kitchen. At both of these restaurants, it’s not uncommon to be served samples of appetizers or desserts just for sitting at the counter. Check out my review on Jiko that I wrote from earlier this year on my personal experience with chef’s counter dining.

Another popular dining experience is Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. The rowdy, energetic dinner show is a hit with most Disney guests but it certainly does come at a price to get great entertainment while you dine. Currently, the price for one adult is about $68.  However, you can enjoy Oktoberfest-style entertainment and a decent meal at Biergarten Restaurant in Epcot for under $40. The atmosphere at Biergarten is one of the best in all of Walt Disney World, in my opinion. The show at Biergarten is also guest interactive, much like Hoop Dee Doo, but without all the embarrassing costumes.

Many years ago when I was a young child, I remember seeing the building for DisneyQuest in pictures and thinking, “I have to go there!” Well, I eventually went. It wasn’t at all what I expected. Honestly, with the crowded atmosphere and kids running around like unsupervised loons, I was glad that I didn’t pay the $43 out of my own pocket. However, if you think your family is interested in this type of activity but can’t swing the cost, be sure to check out the arcade in your resort if you are staying on Disney property. While it may not be as innovative as DisneyQuest, you can still have just as much fun. Try giving $10 to every family member and see who comes out with the most points or maybe, start an air hockey tournament.

I’m very curious what YOUR substitutes might be. Have any of you regretted not paying for the more expensive option? Let us know in the comment section!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Kiosks Announced

by on July 31, 2012

More and more news is coming out about this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  Now, we can finally see what delectable goodies we will be eating during this year’s event.

There are nearly 30 different kiosks that will be available serving up regional tapas sized food along with wines and beers that pair perfectly.

Here is the list of food and drink from each country, so start planning your must eats now!

ARGENTINA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Beef Empanada
  • Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée

Beverage Selections:

  • Terrazas Reserva Chardonnay
  • Terrazas Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Terrazas Reserva Torrontes
  • Terrazas Reserva Malbec

AUSTRALIA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze
  • Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies
  • Lamington

Beverage Selections:

  • Rosemount Estate Traminer Riesling
  • Rosemount Estate Chardonnay Semillon
  • Rosemount Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Shiraz
  • Rosemount Estate Shiraz Cabernet

BELGIUM

Culinary Offerings:

  • Steamed Mussels in Hoegaarden Beer Broth and Baguette
  • Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
  • Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles

Beverage Selections:

  • Hoegaarden
  • Stella Artois
  • Leffe Blonde
  • Leffe Brune
  • Godiva Chocolate Liqueur Iced Coffee

BREWER’S COLLECTION

Beverage Selections:

  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Oktoberfest
  • Altenmünster Dunkel
  • Hövels
  • Schöfferhofer Weizen
  • Schöfferhofer Grapefruit
  • Berliner Kindl Dark
  • Sion Kölsch

CANADA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta and “Minus 8″ Onion Jam
  • “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce

Beverage Selections:

  • Neige Première Apple Ice Wine
  • Neige Bubble
  • Mission Hill Family Estate Syrah
  • Moosehead Beer

CARIBBEAN

Culinary Offerings:

  • Ropa Vieja with Cilantro Rice
  • Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney

Beverage Selections:

  • Bacardi® Frozen Dragon Berry Colada
  • Bacardi® Torched Cherry Frozen Cherry Limeade

CHEESE

Culinary Offerings:

  • Cheese Fondue with Sourdough Bread
  • Trio of Artisan Cheeses: Beecher’s Flagship Reserve Cheddar, La Bonne Vie Goat Brie and Rogue River Creamery Echo Mountain Blue Cheese

Beverage Selections:

  • Sterling Vintner’s Collection Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sterling Vintner’s Collection Riesling
  • Sterling Vintner’s Collection Pinot Noir
  • Sterling Vintner’s Collection Meritage

CHINA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Mongolian Beef with Chinese Steamed Bun
  • Pork Pot Stickers
  • Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce and Pickled Vegetables
  • Mango Tapioca Pudding

Beverage Selections:

  • Tsing Tao Beer
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Riesling
  • Francis Ford Coppola Su Yuen Syrah
  • Happy Lychee with Vodka
  • Sunny Guava with Coconut Rum

CRAFT BEER

Beverage Selections:

  • Widmer Rotator IPA: Spiced IPA, Portland, OR
  • Red Hook Pilsner, Portsmouth, NH
  • Blue Moon Seasonal, Golden, CO
  • Leinenkugel Berry Weiss, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • Florida Beer Company’s Devil’s Triangle, Florida
  • Abita Purple Haze, Lousianna
  • Full Sail IPA, Oregon
  • Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Nevada

DESSERTS & CHAMPAGNE

Culinary Offerings:

  • Yogurt Panna Cotta with Orange Cake, Raspberries and Pomegranate
  • Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse with Chili and Salted Caramel

Beverage Selections:

  • Nesquick Frozen Chocolate Foam
  • Nesquick Frozen Strawberry Foam
  • Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial
  • Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial
  • Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial
  • Moët & Chandon Impérial

FIFE & DRUM

Beverage Selections:

  • Red Stag Lemonade by Jim Beam®
  • Red Stag Honey Tea Lemonade by Jim Beam®

NEW! – FLORIDA LOCAL

Culinary Offerings:

  • White Corn Arepa with Mangalitsa Pork Rilette and Zellwood Sweet Corn Salad
  • Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables, Fried Plantains and Cilantro

Beverage Selections:

  • Florida Beer Company Florida Lager
  • Florida Beer Company Key West Southernmost Wheat
  • Florida Orange Grove Key Limen
  • Florida Orange Grove Hurricane Class 5, Florida White Sangria

FRANCE

Culinary Offerings:

  • Escargots Persillade en Brioche
  • Coq au Vin sur Gratin de Macaroni
  • Créme Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait

Beverage Selections:

  • Chardonnay, Bouchard Aîné & Fils
  • Merlot, Château de Mercade Bordeaux
  • Sparkling Pomegranate Kir
  • Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush

GERMANY

Culinary Offerings:

  • Schinken Nudel (Pasta Gratin with Ham and Cheese)
  • Roast Bratwurst in a Pretzel Roll
  • Apple Strudel with Karamel-Vanilla Sauce

Beverage Selections:

  • Selbach-Oster Estate Spätlese
  • JH Selbach Riesling Classic
  • JH Selbach Riesling QbA Red Label
  • Niersteiner Spiegelberg Dornfelder
  • Radeberger Pilsner
  • Altenmünster Dunke

GREECE

Culinary Offerings:

  • Greek Salad with Pita Bread
  • Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey
  • Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki
  • Spanakopita
  • Dannon® Oikos® Greek Yogurt Cups

Beverage Selections:

  • Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
  • Domaine Skouras St. George
  • Sigalas Assytiko
  • Alpha Axia Syrah

HAWAI’I

Culinary Offerings:

  • Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
  • Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips

Beverage Selections:

  • Seven Tiki® Mai Tai
  • Heitz Cellar Chardonnay
  • Kona Brewing Company Big Wave Golden Ale
  • Kona Brewing Company Pipeline Porter

HOPS & BARLEY

Culinary Offerings:

  • Linda Bean’s® Lobster Claw Cuddler® Chilled with Herb Mayonnaise
  • Linda Bean’s® Perfect Maine Lobster Roll®
  • Linda Bean’s® Maine Home Style Clam Chowder
  • Pumpkin Mousse with Craisins and Orange Sauce

Beverage Selections:

  • Samuel Adams Boston Lager®
  • Samuel Adams® Seasonal
  • Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat®
  • 17th Anniversary Festival Beer– Samuel Adams® Chocolate Bock
  • Samuel Adams Light®
  • Samuel Adams® Cream Stout
  • Samuel Adams® Latitude 48 IPA
  • Angry Orchard Cider

IRELAND

Culinary Offerings:

  • Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie
  • Kerrygold® Cheese Selection: Aged-Irish Cheddar, Dubliner and Cashel Blue with Apple Chutney and Brown Bread
  • Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache

Beverage Selections:

  • Guinness
  • Bunratty Mead Honey Wine
  • Bunratty Potcheene Chilled Irish Coffee

ITALY

Culinary Offerings:

  • Ravioli di Formaggio All’emiliana (Baked Cheese Ravioli, Creamy Beef Bolognese, Parmesan, Mozzarella)
  • Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani (Sweet Sausage, Red Pepper, Ciaibatta Bread)
  • Cannoli al Cioccolato (Chocolate-Covered Cannoli filled with Ricotta, Chocolate, Candied Fruit)

Beverage Selections:

  • Moretti Beer
  • Prosecco Zardetto
  • Pinot Grigio Mezzacorona
  • Chianti Castello di Quercetto
  • Italian Margherita

JAPAN

Culinary Offerings:

  • Spicy Hand Roll (Tuna & Salmon with Chili Pepper, Soy Sauce & Sesame Oil Topped with Kazan Volcano Sauce)
  • Karaage Hand Roll (Crispy Chicken Breast with Sushi Rice and Spicy Mayonnaise)
  • California Roll (Avocado, Cucumber, Crab, Mayonnaise, Smelt Roe Rolled in Sushi Rice and Seaweed)
  • Sukiyaki Beef Pan (Marinated Thinly Sliced Rib Eye with Sauteed Onions and Teriyaki Sauce Served in a Bun)

Beverage Selections:

  • Kirin Ichiban Draft Beer
  • Sake-Kikusui Super Dry, Junmai
  • Sake-Bishounen Junmai Ginjo
  • Sake Strawberry Mist

MEXICO

Culinary Offerings:

  • Crispy Shrimp Taco with Chipotle Lime Mayo and Cabbage Served on a Flour Tortilla
  • Taco de Filete with Cascabel Pepper Sauce and Scallions Served on a Flour Tortilla
  • Natilla de Cajeta (Caramel Custard Served with Sauce)

Beverage Selections:

  • Dos Equis Beer
  • L.A. Cetto Chardonnay
  • L.A. Cetto Petite Sirah
  • Lime Strawberry Margarita On the Rocks
  • Tequila Flight: Tequila Blanco, Reposado and Anejo

MOROCCO

Culinary Offerings:

  • Kefta Pocket (Ground Seasoned Beef in a Pita Pocket)
  • Merguez Sausage (Beef and Lamb Sausage with Grilled Peppers and Onions)
  • Baklava

Beverage Selections:

  • Casa Beer
  • Amazigh Red
  • Sangria
  • Mimosa Royale

NEW ZEALAND

Culinary Offerings:

  • Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad
  • Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney

Beverage Selections:

  • Kim Crawford Pinot Grigio
  • Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc
  • Kim Crawford Un-Oaked Chardonnay
  • Kim Crawford Pinot Noir

POLAND

Culinary Offerings:

  • Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream
  • Zapiekanki-Toasted Mushroom, Caramelized Onion and Cheese Bread with House Made Ketchup

Beverage Selections:

  • Chandon Carneros Chardonnay
  • Tyskie
  • Belvedere® Frozen Lemon Apple “Tea”

SCANDINAVIA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Taste of Scandinavia: Cured Salmon, Herring and Shrimp Salad
  • Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberries
  • Rice Pudding with Driscoll’s® Only The Finest Berries™

Beverage Selections:

  • Iron Horse Fairytale Cuvee
  • Xanté
  • Xanté Sunshine

SINGAPORE

Culinary Offerings:

  • Beef Rendang with Jasmine Rice
  • Seared Mahi Mahi with Jasmine Rice and “Singa” Sauce

Beverage Selections:

  • Tiger Beer
  • Marqués de Cáceres Satinela
  • Singapore Sling

SOUTH AFRICA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Seared Filet of Beef with Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Braai Sauce
  • Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket

Beverage Selections:

  • Fairview Sauvignon Blanc
  • Fairview Pinotage

SOUTH KOREA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Lettuce Wrap with Roast Pork and Kimchi Slaw
  • Mung Bean Pancake with Shrimp and Kimchi Sauce

Beverage Selections:

  • Bohae Black Raspberry Wine-Bokbunjajoo
  • Chung Ha Soju Fruit Slushy
  • Chung Ha Soju

NEW! – TERRA

Culinary Offerings:

  • Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast
  • Chili Colorado with House Made Chips & Cashew Cheese, featuring Gardein Beefless Tips
  • Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam

Beverage Selections:

  • Paul Dolan Sauvignon Blanc
  • Paul Dolan Pinot Nior
  • Silk® Berry Smoothie
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

WDW Park Hours: What to Expect in October

by on July 31, 2012

Here at TouringPlans.com we spend a lot of time honing our predictions to make our Crowd Calendar the most accurate available. One of the many methods we employ is projecting park hours for all of Disney’s Florida theme parks. You may be wondering why we bother since Disney World publishes its park hours for all to see. Well, Disney does not always make things easy (as outlined here).

The published hours are available for the next six months (currently through February), but they are simply preliminary hours. Disney doesn’t create an operational schedule for its employees that far in advance. Using things like hotel occupancy rates and dining reservations, Disney reviews all hours for a given month approximately two weeks prior to the start of that month (for instance, September’s adjusted hours should be released on or around August 20) and makes changes to its park hours.

How often are park hours changed two weeks before the start of a month? This post will give you idea of what to expect when October hours are adjusted. And the chart below shows what the final park hours were for Walt Disney World in October 2011.

The numbers in red are October 2011 dates that changed when park hours were adjusted in mid-September last year.

There are a few things you should notice about this chart:

  • As mentioned above, these are the final park hours from last year (I want to make that very clear); final hours for this October (2012) have not yet been released.
  • The opening times for all parks change very, very rarely (only three days last October).
  • Epcot times change very, very rarely (which is why they are not listed).
  • Speaking of Epcot, the preliminary hours for that park show it will be open until 10pm (instead of the usual 9pm) on Fridays and Saturdays in October for the Food  & Wine Festival.
  • Wishes is performed once per night, except on days where there is a Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (October 4, 5, 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, and 31, 2012). Changes in October are very rare, so we have not listed Wishes because of this.
  • The days that have Extra Magic Hours almost never change.
  • Closing times for the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as the number of performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade and Fantasmic!, are highly variable at peak times.
  • October  has many peaks and valleys as seen by the sporadic red on that chart, and that makes it a tricky month to predict. One thing you should be aware of is that Disney has been reluctant this summer to extend the Magic Kingdom’s closing time to the extremes, such as 1am (like on October 22, 2011). 11pm closings are becoming more normal rather than those very late weekend nights.

So the real question is what you should expect for this year. Since we started actively tracking park hour changes, we have noticed that the previous year is quite a good predictor of the upcoming changes. We do make some adjustments for our internal calculations, but the chart above should give you a good idea for planning purposes.

One thing to remember is to compare days of the week rather than numerical dates. For instance, if you are traveling from Sunday, October 14, through Saturday, October 20, 2012 you would look at the second Sunday through the third Saturday from last year (September 9-15, 2011). Please also keep in mind that this chart is one of many references for you to use in planning your trip and is not necessarily the exact operating times.

I hope you find this information useful. As you may have guessed by now, this is going to be a regular feature. I am still in the process of “catching up” to the currently available Walt Disney World calendar (currently through February). Once I have caught it, I will post these as the new preliminary hours are released.

Thanks!

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

New 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events

by on July 30, 2012

We are officially at 2 months before the 2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival begins! This year, Disney has announced that there are quite a few new events, as well as a few minor tweaks, that are occurring in this year’s Special Events calender.

First off, and something that we mentioned earlier, is that there will be a new Marketplace VIP Access Chef Tour. This special tour will take place every Wednesday during the Festival starting at 10:30 am. During the tour, tastes will be selected from different marketplaces along the promenade and guests will get to hear stories from the chefs themselves. Guests will also be able to try five different dishes and five different beverages (beer, wine, and cocktails). This tour will last 2 hours and cost $90 per person, plus tax. (Park admission is required.)

Another new offering is the Italian Regional Food and Wine Luncheon. This event is scheduled to take place at the new Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar located in the Italy Pavilion. During this event, different wines will be pared with authentic dishes. The tour will take place on Wednesdays and Saturdays during the Festival and will start at 12:00 pm and will last until 2:00 pm. The cost is $75 per person, plus tax.  (Gratuity is included, park admission is required.)   This event seems to be a replacement for the French Regional Lunch that has been offered in the past.

Also taking place in the Italy Pavilion will be the White Truffle Lunch which will take place on November 4th at Tutto Italia.

As for this year, during the ever popular Party for the Senses, there will now be three tiers that guests can take part in. Party For The Senses dates are October 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, and November 3rd.

  • General Admission ($145 plus tax, gratuity included, park admission required)
  • New! A Reserved Table on the main floor ($170 plus tax, gratuity included, park admission required)
  • A reserved table in the premium Wine View Lounge ($270 plus tax, gratuity included, park admission required)

The reserved seating options both offer a specialty cocktail and early admission at 7:15 pm.

 

Bookings for all the Special Events during the 2012 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival will take place on August 14th at 7:00 am. To schedule your event, call (407) WDW-FEST.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

“My Disney Experience” Mobile App Launches August 2012

by on July 30, 2012

Walt Disney World will roll out the next phase of its NextGen project in early August 2012, with an app for the iPhone, iPad, and Android reports WDWMagic.com. The name of the app, “My Disney Experience,” is one of a handful of names that has been thrown around as a candidate for the eventual public name of the NextGen project based on domain and trademark registrations. The app will eventually replace Mobile Magic.

No word yet on what level of functionality the app will have when it drops, but given the ongoing nature of NextGen testing, we do not expect it to be fully fleshed out upon its initial release. More likely, it will offer Mobile Magic “plus” functionality, and will perhaps be used in limited paperless FASTPASS testing at select attractions (word is the RFID readers are back at Haunted Mansion), with other features added once further testing with limited app functionality is completed.

No date has been set for a full scale roll out of the NextGen/My Disney Experience project.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Attraction Tips – The Tomorowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

by on July 30, 2012

Let me start by saying that this is not a ride you need a great deal of information about in order to ride it.  The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is seldom crowded. In fact, if you ride this attraction during the first few hours that the Magic Kingdom is open, I’m pretty sure that Len Testa gets an involuntary twitch. That said, it’s a ride that is well worth doing, and should be on anyone’s list when visiting Walt Disney World’s original park.

The escalator entrance to the TTA PeopleMover

The reason for that is that the PeopleMover is a piece of Disney history. The original version of the ride opened in Disneyland in 1967 as part of the new Tomorrowland project, and made its way out to the East coast as part of Walt Disney World. The PeopleMover was Walt Disney’s attempt to show the world how we could solve the problems of city congestion and transportation all in one. Although it ended up being a form of transit around Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, its original intent was to deliver guests, workers and citizens of EPCOT, the city, around the grounds and to and from their workplace.

Tip: If you want to see how the PeopleMover was originally intended to be used, look along the route of the ride for the original model of EPCOT. On the model you’ll see small PeopleMovers taking workers into the city center.  You can also see the original designs at One Man’s Dream in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Last Week at Disneyland Resort (7/22/2012 – 7/28/2012)

by on July 30, 2012

All photos copyright Disney (unless otherwise noted)

The world's attention turned to London this week, but that didn't stop heavy crowds from continuing to head to Disneyland Resort.

Crowd Calendar

Quietest Day: Friday 7/27 was a 9 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 8.6 and Disneyland Park at 9.2.

Busiest Day: Tuesday 7/24 and Thursday 7/26 were both a 10 out of 10 at the resort, with DCA crowds at 9.8 and Disneyland Park at 9.7.

Subscribe to the TouringPlans.com Disneyland Crowd Calendar for details on predicted crowds for the next 30 days.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

3 More Crowd Calendar Questions!

by on July 29, 2012

Last week we asked y’all to weigh in on some proposed changes for the next edition of the crowd calendar.  A quick update on the results is below, along with 3 new questions.  We’d appreciate it if you could give a couple of minutes to weigh in on them.

New Recommendation Rules

We’re considering new rules for how we recommend when to visit each park.  In the hypothetical crowd calendar snippet below, we’ve coded each park green if we think that’s a good day to visit the park; red means it’s not a good day; and white means it’s somewhere in the middle.

We used 3 rules to make these recommendations:

1) A park is green if its crowd level is 3.0 or less on that day.

2) A park is green if that day has the lowest or second-lowest crowd level as compared to the 3 days before and after it.

3) A park is red if that day has the highest crowd level as compared to the 3 days before and after it.

[Note: The crowd levels aren't real.  We adjusted them to illustrate scenarios for the questions we're asking.]

Here’s how the rules play out.  The Magic Kingdom is green on 8/5/2015 because it’s the lowest crowd level as compared to 8/2, 8/3, 8/4, 8/6, 8/7 and 8/8.   The Magic Kingdom is neutral on 8/2 and 8/8, because there are both better and worse days near those days.

Epcot is green every day except for 8/5.  It’s red on 8/5 because 8/5 is the most crowded day as compared to 8/2, 8/3, 8/4, 8/6, 8/7 and 8/8.

Based on that, here are 3 questions to answer regarding the rules:

QUESTION #1

Is it easy to understand the calendar’s Magic Kingdom’s recommendations?

QUESTION #2

Is it easy to understand the calendar’s Epcot recommendations?

QUESTION #3

Is it easy to understand why the Magic Kingdom is green and Epcot is red on 8/5?

Leave responses in the comments section of this post, please.  And thanks again for your help.

 

Previous Survey Results

Question #1 asked whether the calendar had to have a “worst” park every day.  46% said yes, 46% said no, and 8% didn’t care.

Question #2 asked whether the calendar had to have a “best” park every day.  72% said yes, so that’s a clear winner.

Question #3 was on our “7-Day Rule” and asked whether each park had to be listed as a “best” park at least once every 7 days.  63% of you said no.

Question #4 asked whether switching to a red/green terminology instead of “best/worst” would improve the calendar.  31% said better, 53% said it was the same, and 16% said it was worse.

 

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print

Top 10 Apps for Your Disneyland Vacation

by on July 27, 2012

Let me say right up front, I am excited about reading your comments to this blog! You see, I’ve only had a smart phone for about 2 months (in my case, an iPhone). I’ve had an iPad for over 2 years, however, and I love it! As I’ve said many times, it has revolutionized my life (my dear husband hates it when I say that—he says he already revolutionized it when we got married!). Sure, Honey…

Of course a few members of my family have been carrying smart phones for the last few years, so we’ve been to Disney with one—but, I have never carried it in my own hands. That means I still have a lot to learn.

From my family’s experiences, here are the top 10 apps that help us maximize our Disneyland vacation. Since we carry iPhones (this is not a paid endorsement!), I’ll refer to iPhone apps, but I hope those of you carrying other smart phones will use the comments section to tell us about your top 10.

1. Disneyland Lines from TouringPlans.comDon’t call me a shill! This is a great app (as is the Disney World version)! Lines gives you free real-time attraction wait times, forecasted wait times, and FASTPASS distribution and return times. The app also provides searchable menus for every restaurant, food cart, and bar on property.My family loves how Lines lets you update wait times on your smart phone while you are in the park to help other users of Lines. It also has a timed feature that measures the actual time you wait in a queue to optimize Lines’ accuracy. In addition, you get access to Touring Plans’ famous computer-optimized Touring Plans. Just so you know, there are additional features that require a subscription (which is not expensive, and can get a discount by purchasing a great Unofficial Guide book), including full access to the famous TouringPlans Crowd Calendar and Unofficial Guide Touring Plans. There is so much more I haven’t even mentioned! Definitely get this app.

Read the rest of this entry »

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Print