Archive for August, 2013

THE SATURDAY SIX: Top Six “Secrets” of the Royal Pacific Resort

by on August 31, 2013

The Saturday Six is a weekly look at the most interesting, most fun, and sometimes even the most outrageous things within the theme park world that we all love so much. Whether it’s the top six reasons to play Hollywood Drive-in Minigolf, the top six outrageous food items at Universal , or even the top six “secrets” of Marvel Superhero Island , the Saturday Six will be your personal guide to experiencing the very best Orlando has to offer.

This week’s Saturday Six looks at the Top Six “Secrets” of the Royal Pacific Resort. Like the Portofino Bay Hotel, the Royal Pacific is run by Loews and is one of the three on-site hotels at the Universal Orlando Resort (the Hard Rock Hotel is the third). Let’s take a look at some of the things you might not have known about this incredible hotel.

RPR_characterlarge

Minion dance party

#6. The Character Breakfast

One of the few weaknesses across Universal property is the overall lack of character dining experiences. At Walt Disney World you have a lot of unique opportunities to dine with various characters. Whether it’s dining with the princesses at Akershus, meeting Cinderella’s step sisters at 1900 Park Fare, or being able to enjoy breakfast with members of the “Fab Five” at Chef Mickey’s, Disney has many places across its entire resort to enjoy character dining. Universal? Not so much.

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This week on TouringPlans YouTube Channel: Peter Pan, Mr. Toad, Bamboo, Dancing Dogs and More!

by on August 30, 2013

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

Enjoy this HD video ride through of Peter Pan’s Flight in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

Another week, another Limited Time Magic dance party at Magic Kingdom. Here’s Dog Days of Summer Dance Party.

Click here to see more videos from this week!

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Disneyland Resort Half-Marathon Weekend Traffic Alert

by on August 30, 2013

Image copyright Disney

If you are into the wonderful world of collecting runDisney medals, you undoubtedly already know that this weekend is not only Labor Day, but also the sold-out Half-Marathon Weekend at Disneyland Resort. But even if the only Disney running you do is to Peter Pan at rope drop, you should be aware of the athletic activities in case you were planning on an early morning visit to the Anaheim parks in the next few days.

Race-related activities kicks off this morning with the Disneyland Health & Fitness Expo, which continues until 5pm Saturday at the Disneyland Hotel. On Saturday (8/31) the 5k Family Fun Run and 10k race start at 5:15am and 6:15am, respectively, with Kids Races held in Downtown Disney at 10am. Finally, the Pasta in the Park party takes over a corner of Disneyland at 6pm (separate ticket required, sold-out).

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Limited Time Magic For September 1 – 8

by on August 30, 2013

Fall Trolley Party

©Disney

At Walt Disney World, the Citizens of Main Street are ready, once again, to step out with their fantastic trolley show, this time, with a autumn twist.

Starting on Sunday, September 1, and lasting throughout the fall, guests are invited to join in on the fun of this seasonal showcase, commemorating the season, as it rolls down Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom.

Be sure to check a Times Guide for exact showtimes.

 

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Hidden Gems of Disney – Chip ’n Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long

by on August 30, 2013

Chip 'n Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long SignThese days the typical character meal runs about $30 per adult. That’s a hefty price tag considering most of the food is marginal at best. What you’re really paying for is the convenience of the characters coming to you without waiting in a long line. So what if I told you Chip and Dale do this every night free of charge?

Nestled back in the Fort Wilderness Campground, the Chip ’n Dale’s Campfire Sing-A-Long takes place every night. The fun gets started when the Chuck Wagon opens up serving all kinds of treats. (Check out the complete menu.) The timing of this event will vary by season. During the colder winter months the Sing-A-Long will get started at 7:00 pm, with the Chuck Wagon opening up roughly at 6:00 pm. In the summer everything happens an hour later, which gives it a little more time to cool off.

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Changes Coming For Stroller Rental Companies at Walt Disney World

by on August 29, 2013

Rented StrollersA little less than a year ago, Disney changed its policy for wheelchair rental companies, only allowing preferred vendors to pick up or drop off items at the Bell Stand or Front Desk of a hotel. It now appears that, starting on September 1, that same thing will happen in relation to stroller rental companies.

Once the new policy goes into effect, only preferred vendors that Disney has approved will be able to pick up and drop off not only strollers, but other popular “hard good” item rentals. These items include rented cribs and accessories, playpens, booster seats, high chairs, baby toys, car seats, baby activity devices, diaper genies, changing tables, etc.

Equipment from non-approved vendors may not be left at any resort to be picked up by a guest or said vendor. These unapproved vendors will need to arrange a time to meet directly with their customers for both pick up and drop off. Disney cast members will no longer be able to assist with the rental process by temporarily storing products from unapproved vendors.

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Celebrate The Magic Castle Projection Show To Get Halloween Sequence

by on August 29, 2013

©Disney

©Disney

Are you as much of a fan of the Celebrate the Magic castle projection show that is shown nightly at the Magic Kingdom as I am?

A really neat fact about this show is that the technology allows for small additions to be included around holidays, and this year there’s going to be another seasonal update for Halloween!

According to the Disney Parks Blog, debuting on Sunday, September 1, and running through Friday, November 1, the Disney Villains, who always seem to love this time of year, will come out in force, taking over Cinderella Castle during the show. Villains featured during this nighttime extravaganza include Ursula (from The Little Mermaid), Chernabog (from Fantasia), and Maleficent (from Sleeping Beauty). Of course, good always triumphs over evil at Disney, and this show should be no exception.

If you don’t want to miss this thrilling addition to an already fabulous show, make sure to check a Times Guide for exact showtimes.

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Top Three Favorite Things About The ‘My Disney Experience’ App

by on August 29, 2013

MDEA

My Disney Experience app on iPhone

The My Disney Experience app is a newly developed tool for guests to navigate the parks with GPS-enabled maps, attractions and wait time information, dining information including maps and reservation-making capability and more. Designed to be used with the website, guests can store plans, wish list items and more, all integrated with the My Disney Experience website (review here).

Although the website and app share similar content, after exploring both, the app was definitely my favorite. Though both platforms share similar content, the streamlined feel and faster loading speed won me over – not to mention the fact that I’m much more likely to be visiting the parks with my phone or tablet than my laptop computer! Along with that reason, I thought I’d compile my favorite things about the My Disney Experience app:

#3: The Characters Today Locator

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Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City Announced as Eighth and Final House at Universal’s HHN 23

by on August 29, 2013

HHN23_REAt Midnight last night the official Universal Halloween Horror Nights 23 Twitter account (@HorrorNightsORL) revealed that the eighth and final haunted house at this year’s event would be based around the Resident Evil video game franchise. Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City joins The Walking Dead, The Cabin in the Woods, Evil DeadAn American Werewolf in London, After Life: Death’s Vengeance, La Llorona, and Havoc: Derailed as the official mazes that guests will be able to walk through and get their wits scared out of them.

Resident Evil is a long running video game series that began in 1996. The Resident Evil: Escape From Raccoon City  haunted house will be based around Resident Evil 2 and 3, games which were released in 1998 and 1999. Universal Creative Director Mike Aiello has confirmed that guests will encounter classic HHN23RE game elements such as dogs, Lickers (like from the artwork on the left hand side of the article, and Nemesis (the main baddie from RE 3). Universal has also teased that one room of the maze will also give guests the experience of the video game itself being paused. Pretty meta.

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10 Common Misconceptions about a Disney Cruise

by on August 29, 2013

Are you a Walt Disney World and/or Disneyland addict who has never been on a Disney cruise? That’s not surprising, since there are a lot of misconceptions out there about Disney cruises! Well, I used to be one of those Disneyholics who thought I got all the magic I needed in Orlando or Anaheim. Well I was wrong. Disney cruises have become my family’s favorite form of vacation after we got past some of these misconceptions, and I highly recommend all Disney fans give it a try at least once.

According to statistics, ninety percent of people who take a cruise, go back. There’s a reason for such a high return rate. Because Disney cruises are awesome!! Now, I fully recognize that a cruise may not be the best vacation for every person on the face of the planet, but I don’t want anyone trying to avoid a cruise because of a misconception. So, let me try to debunk some myths right here and now about Disney cruises.

1. It’s Too Expensive – Of course, “too” is relative. What’s “too” much for one person is “not too bad” for someone else. The question should really be whether a Disney cruise is comparable to a similar vacation you might consider elsewhere. If you compare a Disney cruise to a Disney vacation, make sure you’re not comparing apples and oranges. First, remember how much is included on a Disney cruise because it’s really pretty all-inclusive. On a Disney cruise, you don’t have to individually purchase theme park tickets, a room to sleep in, or the Disney Dining Plan. Second, when you’re comparing costs of a Disney cruise to a theme park vacation, make sure you compare the cost of premium theme park tickets, deluxe hotel accommodations, and the Deluxe Dining Plan. So don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying a Disney cruise is cheap. I’m just saying it may not be as relatively expensive as you think. Right now two people can book a week long cruise in a verandah in September on the Disney Fantasy for about $2100. Two people in the least expensive deluxe resort (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge) for a week in September with free dining and 7 day base tickets would be over $3300. See what I mean?

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