Archive for June, 2013

Observations from Epcot: June 12, 2013

by on June 17, 2013

001When I found out several months ago that my aunt was visiting Walt Disney World for the first time ever with a friend, I was so excited to help them plan! I immediately sent her a copy of the Unofficial Guide, made sure she had a TouringPlans subscription, and told her I was available any time to help plan things. There were a few phone conversations about park hoppers and car rentals…but then she said she was all set. I should have known better.

The night before she arrived I asked her where they were going there first day and what plans they had. She then informed me they had made no plans: they were going to sleep in and then show up at Epcot whenever and just wing it. WHAT?! No. You can’t say something like that to me. My JOB is planning and Disney World. You can’t just tell me you’re going to show up and wing it. She hadn’t even looked at the Unofficial Guide I sent her.

Immediately I rescheduled my whole day and instructed her to meet me at the Epcot turnstiles at 8:30am. I was going to last-minute plan their vacation to make sure they saw everything they wanted.

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New Unofficial Guide Disney Dish Podcast: History of WDW’s Moderate Resorts

by on June 17, 2013

Did you know that Dixie Landings was originally going to be built next to Downtown Disney? The idea was that Fulton’s Crab House would be one of the icons (as well as a snazzy restaurant) marking the entrance to this resort from DTD. Hear the whole story as Jim walks us through the history of Disney’s hotel development starting from Disneyland and going up through the Eisner era.

Here’s the link to listen in iTunesHere’s the direct MP3 file.

Please rate us on iTunes and let us know what you’d like to hear next.

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Universal Food Finds: Fast Food Boulevard, Springfield

by on June 17, 2013

As promised, the next installment in our coverage of the new Fast Food Boulevard of The Simpsons’ Springfield in Universal Studios Florida has arrived… And this time we’re focusing on the good stuff–the food!

It is hard to fathom the transformation has taken place in this corner of the park, taking the formerly dated International Food & Film Festival and turning it into a lively romp through the notable locales of the popular show’s many antics. The area is not yet complete with Kang and Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl spinner ride, Duff Gardens, Lard Lad, and Taco Fresho still being developed, but what has already opened has changed the culinary landscape of the park, offering an extremely broad menu of options to choose from in food and beverage. We’ll start with a look at the menus and the food items before getting to our review…

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Information About Starbucks on Main Street USA at the Main Street Bakery

by on June 16, 2013

sbux

©Erin Daniels

Starbucks on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom officially opens later this week, but this weekend it has been in previews. We now know more information about what you can expect when you step foot inside this new version of the Main Street Bakery.

First off, on first initial glance, you can’t tell it’s a Starbucks location. However, almost all of the food options, as well as beverage choices, are all Starbucks. (Merchandise is distinctly Starbucks, as well.) We are hearing that in the afternoon some additional Disney offerings may be sold, like cupcakes and other sweets.

Most items will be available for a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan. In addition, those on the Dining Plan may use a quick service entitlement for either one entree and one beverage OR one beverage, one piece of fruit, and one pastry. This does appear to be a full blown Starbucks, for the most part, menu-wise, with the pastries and sandwiches that Starbucks specializes in.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that the famous cinnamon roll didn’t make the cut. However, they are still available at Gaston’s Tavern in Fantasyland.

There is also no indoor seating any longer. This was done to make the bakery bigger to accommodate larger crowds.

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This week on TouringPlans YouTube Channel: Mickey and the Magical Map, Haunted Mansion Drink Coasters and more!

by on June 14, 2013

Every Friday we bring you the week’s newest videos from our YouTube channel. Let’s get started!

A full recording of the new Mickey and the Magical Map stage show that premiered in Disneyland a couple of weeks ago.
An interesting note about this video, if you go to 17:56 you can see the show’s audio and screen go blank. This show was then stopped from several minutes before continuing.

A Disney merchandise review of the new Haunted Mansion drink coasters now on sale in the parks. These things are nice!

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Observations from Magic Kingdom: June 6, 2013

by on June 14, 2013

022Last week I stopped by Magic Kingdom to check out a few new things. I actually got there early and made it on time for Rope Drop! I was worried the Welcome Show would be cancelled due to rain…it is definitely hurricane season here in Central Florida! Luckily, the show went on as planned, and I got the full opening experience. Once the park opened, instead of joining the rush to Space Mountain or Peter Pan, we hung around Main Street and waited for the Trolley Show so we could see the new summer version that had begun as part of a summertime Limited Time Magic.

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Epcot Food & Wine Festival Premium Event Bookings To Open in August

by on June 14, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

Are you excited that the 18th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is just a few short months away?

Among the more popular aspects of this festival are the Premium Events that take place during the 46-day extravaganza. These culinary and beverage programs include popular events like Party For The Senses and the 3D Disney’s Dessert Discovery. There will also be several new events like the Scotland, Land of Food and Drink.

Booking these events ahead of time is a must as space is limited. Guests wishing to attend an event may begin calling (407) WDW-FEST (939-3378) on August 13 at 7 am EDT.

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Limited Time Magic For Walt Disney World – Sneak Peak at The Lone Ranger

by on June 14, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

Disney’s upcoming Summer blockbuster movie, The Lone Ranger, starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp, is saddling up for a July 3 release.

Wanna catch a special sneak peek? From now until August 3, guests will be able to if they head over to the ABC Sound Studio (the former location of Sounds Dangerous) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This gripping look at the movie will include special footage, including an extended trailer of the film. It’s an exciting way to get pumped for the action/adventure film.

Also, be on the lookout this weekend (June 15 and 16) over at Downtown Disney as statues of the Lone Ranger and Tonto will be on hand in some unusual places. See if you can spot them!

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Fantastic Fourth of July Celebrations to Take Place at Walt Disney World

by on June 13, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

This year’s Independence Day celebration at Walt Disney World is going up with a bang!

First, as part of the Limited Time Magic celebration, the Magic Kingdom will celebrate Independence Week, instead of just one day, from July 1 – 7 with a special tribute to the red, white, and blue.

Each night, the park will honor the good old US of A with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza, “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky.” This special 15-minute show will even feature 360 degree fireworks, which are a sight to be seen!

In addition, a new pre-parade will take place daily before the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade. It is set to feature Disney characters like Goofy, Donald, and Pluto, plus the Citizens of Main Street, the Main Street Philharmonic, as well as a horse-drawn calliope.

Will you be visiting the other parks on July 4? Have no fear! Special entertainment will be available at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

At Epcot, the American Adventure Pavilion gets in on the action by holding “The Voices of Liberty Fourth of July Concert.” This show will not only feature the infamous Voices of Liberty, but will also include the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps, as well as Disney characters. Showtimes are 12:30 pm, 1:45 pm, and 3 pm. In addition, the Voices of Liberty will also have two sets in the American Adventure Rotunda at 4:15 pm and 5 pm.

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Pork Shank Available All Summer at Disneyland

by on June 13, 2013

Ever since Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter proved by Butterbeer sales how insanely profitable themed snacks can be, Disney has been introducing its own specialty foods tied to different park areas. Many of these new offerings have met with mixed responses, with frozen fruit slushies topped by flavored foam proving less universally popular than their Potter equivalents.

But one snack that has gained some traction is the ginormous roasted pork shank served at Gaston’s Tavern in Walt Disney World’s New Fantasyland. This double-fisted chunk of pig leg is now coming to Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree in a tangy new form for the summer as a showcased snack at Woody’s All-American Roundup.

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